Common sports-related musculoskeletal injuries presenting to the emergency department

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Young athletes are specialising in sports at a younger age, placing the developing musculoskeletal system under considerable stress. Overuse injuries such as apophysitis are chronic in nature and account for a large proportion of musculoskeletal injuries suffered by young athletes; however, with an increased emphasis on success in sport, tendinopathy and fatigue fractures are now being reported with increasing frequency, in the adolescent population. Correct diagnosis and early protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation therapy is critical, along with supervised rehabilitation an expert in paediatric and adolescent sports medicine. Acute traumatic knee injury and ankle sprain account for most acute injuries. Although most are soft tissue in nature, radiography may be useful in specific situations before early initiation of protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation therapy. These injuries will also require follow-up by an expert in paediatric and adolescent sports medicine to confirm the diagnosis and instigate ongoing rehabilitation and/or orthopaedic referral. Many of these injuries are preventable and due consideration should be given to simple prevention strategies.

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