Playing a game on a “sore ankle”
Meet Dr. Daniel Green, orthopedic surgeon from Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, sharing some of his expert advice on Sports Medicine and what to expect when your daughter starts playing after school sports.
We’ll be bringing you a variety of questions and answers he has provided to us, but feel free to ask him a few of your own! We’ll get him right on it!!
Here’s the next question!
My son/daughter was complaining of a sore ankle yesterday, but now it “doesn’t hurt,” just in time for the most important game of the year—should I let them participate?
Well I think that’s a very important question. When can someone return to sports after an injury? We want to treat our child/adolescent athlete as if they were a professional. Just because they say they feel better, doesn’t mean they’re ready. If you go back too early, you’re not only setting yourself up for an additional ankle sprain, but also for a more serious injury in a hip or knee because your mechanics are off. As a basic return-to-sport rule, you should be able to run up and down the field without a limp, should be able to jump up and down 10-20 times on each leg, and the balance should be the same on both legs. I just saw a patient the other week who competed on a bad ankle, and then tore her ACL. We all remember the heroic instances of professional athletes landing perfectly or scoring the winning goal despite injury, but these aren’t good examples for kids. Athletes need to get back to the level they were performing at before they were injured, before they return to play.
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