Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are becoming more common in children and teens as the length of sports seasons increases and the level of play intensifies. But the growing athlete’s needs are different from the adult athlete’s. You’ll want a team of experts working together to get your young athlete back in the game.

Sports Injuries at Seattle Children’s

  • Our team of nationally recognized orthopedics and sports medicine experts includes:

    • Sports medicine doctors
    • Pediatric orthopedic surgeons
    • Physical therapists
    • Nutritionists
    • Exercise physiologists
    • Adolescent medicine specialists

    We work together to make sure your child’s care is coordinated and thorough.

    Our expertise covers a wide range of orthopedic subspecialties, including:

    • Trauma care
    • Ultra-endurance sports
    • Foot and ankle injuries
    • Spine problems

    We develop physical therapy programs for children recovering from injuries.

  • Kids are still growing well into their teens. Their bodies can be damaged in ways that an adult body can’t. At Seattle Children’s, we take into account the special needs of children’s and teens’ growing bodies and developing minds.

    We offer both surgical and nonsurgical options. Our services include:

    • Injury prevention
    • Physical therapy
    • Rehabilitation
    • Imaging
    • Complementary medical treatment
    • Appropriate nutrition

    When surgery is needed, we use techniques that limit the risk of injury to growing bones. All the caregivers on our team have special training in the medical, surgical, emotional and social needs of young people.

  • We provide sports injury care at our 4 locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way and Mill Creek. We also offer evening appointments in Seattle and Bellevue.

Sports Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps people recover from injuries and prevent further injury. The physical therapists at Seattle Children’s have the expertise and state-of-the-art equipment needed to work with young athletes and help them safely return to sports.

We offer sports physical therapy in Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way and Mill Creek. A referral from your healthcare provider is all you need to make an appointment.

Read more about sports physical therapy.

Common Sports Injuries

Common sports injuries include:

  • Heel pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Tears to ligaments in the knee, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL)

  • A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head or body that makes the brain move back and forth quickly inside of the skull. You do not have to be “knocked out” to have a concussion. It can happen to any athlete – girl or boy – in any sport. Concussions are seen most often in football, soccer, basketball, baseball, gymnastics and cheerleading.

    Read more about concussions and our Sports Concussion Program.

  • The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) connects the front part of the shinbone to the back part of the thighbone so that the shinbone does not slide in front of the thighbone. When the knee is forced into an unusual position, the ACL and other ligaments can tear. ACL tears occur when children stop or change direction suddenly, twist their knees or bend them sideways. This can happen during accidents while skiing, bicycling or riding in a car. It also can happen during sports that require a lot of jumping, pivoting and quick stops and starts, such as basketball, volleyball and soccer.

    Read more about ACL injuries.

  • The MCL (medial collateral ligament) runs along the inside of the knee, helping to keep the knee from bending inward. When the knee suddenly bends inward with the foot bent outward, the MCL and other ligaments can tear, either partially or all the way. These kinds of injuries can occur during collisions in football and soccer and during car accidents.

    Read more about MCL injuries.

  • The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) connects the back part of the shinbone to the front part of the thighbone so that the shinbone does not slide behind the thighbone.

    When the knee is forced into an unusual position, the PCL and other ligaments can tear. In children, PCL injuries most often happen during high-speed sports, such as basketball and soccer. A blow to the front of the knee – for example, from hitting the dashboard during an automobile accident or falling hard on a bent knee during a football game – can also injure the PCL.

    Read more about PCL injuries.

Contact Us

Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Contact Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at 206-987-2109 for an appointment, second opinion or more information.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Sports Physical Therapy

For more information, contact Sports Physical Therapy at 206-987-6400. If you would like an appointment, ask your child’s primary care provider for a referral.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Fracture Clinic

For fracture treatment, we offer a Friday Fracture Clinic. This clinic does not require a referral from a primary care physician. Call the Fracture Program at 206-987-2109 to schedule an appointment or for more information.