Pediatric sports medicine specialists in Denver

Our sports medicine physicians are here to help your young athlete get back in the game.

An athletic injury can impact more than your child's musculoskeletal system — it can dampen their spirits as well. The specialists at Rocky Mountain Pediatric OrthoONE, in Colorado's Rocky Mountain Region, care for and diagnose and treat your child's sports injury with compassion so they can safely get back being active.

Our pediatric sports medicine specialists are equipped to diagnose, treat and manage athletic injuries in children and teens, including:

  • Apophysitis (growth plate injury)
  • Cartilage injuries (e.g., cartilage tears in joints)
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures and avulsions
  • Ligament injuries
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury
  • Overuse injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Unique conditions for athletes with disabilities

Our youth sports medicine services

Our physicians are experts in their fields and are at the forefront of research and innovation in sports medicine. We know how to work with children of all ages, speaking to them in a developmentally appropriate and sympathetic manner.

Treatments we offer

For children and teens who play sports, we provide the same advanced diagnostic imaging, nonsurgical treatments and complex surgical procedures that we do for kids with other orthopedic injuries or conditions.

Our specialized sports medicine services also include, including:

  • Casting and bracing
  • Counseling on safe return to play
  • Detailed assessments
  • Injury prevention and performance training
  • Onsite diagnostic imaging (X-ray)
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical and nonsurgical treatment options

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries

Knee pain and injuries are common among active kids, especially athletes, who can tear an ACL. Our specialists understand how to treat torn ACLs in both children who have finished growing and in those who haven't. This understanding is key to helping your child heal properly while preventing future damage.

We use several diagnostic methods to determine if your child has a torn ACL. A physical exam may include the Lachman test, pivot-shift test and anterior drawer test. Our facility also has advanced imaging services to enable us to better confirm a partial or complete ACL tear.

To repair a torn ACL, we offer both extra-articular surgery and intra-articular reconstructive surgery. How we choose the type of ACL surgery depends on whether your child has reached skeletal maturity. After surgery, your child will need to walk with the assistance of crutches, limit their physical activity and wear a full-leg brace for four to six weeks.

Physical rehabilitation is a key element of healing from a torn ACL. Most children do physical therapy three times a week, while also practicing daily exercises at home. Rehabilitation typically takes six to nine months. Accelerated programs would require more frequent therapy and reduce recovery time to four to six months.

Burners (upper arm nerve injuries)

A burner — also known as a stinger — is an injury to the nerves of the upper arm. Burners usually happen in the neck or shoulder. This kind of injury takes its name from the burning or stinging pain that runs down the arm from shoulder to hand.

Most burners can be treated at home using ice or a cold compress. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the neck and shoulder. We can evaluate your child to determine if they would benefit from physical therapy, which keeps the muscles strong and mobile while your child heals.

Condylar fractures of the fingers

Condylar fractures are most common in the proximal phalanx (first bone) of the finger bones. They usually occur as a result of a sports injury. They tend to be very unstable and almost always require operative intervention. If you suspect your child may have a fracture, you should first go to the emergency room (ER) or visit our pediatric walk-in clinic.

In the rare case that is treated without surgery, a cast might be effective. Our specialists would perform regular follow-up X-rays on a weekly basis to detect early changes in alignment. For the vast majority of condylar fractures, treatment involves pinning the fracture before it becomes displaced. This is an outpatient procedure. Your child will need to wear a cast for three to four weeks. We are more than happy to answer all of your questions regarding treatment options.

Helping your child cope while they heal

Being told that you can't do the things you love — like running, playing football, field hockey or softball — can be a devastating blow to any child. If their injury affects their ability to play, they may feel angry, frustrated or even depressed.

Our sports medicine specialists have seen how injuries in young athletes can impact them emotionally as well as physically. We are here to help offer support and guidance on ways to keep your child's spirits up as they rehabilitate. Some children enjoy keeping score or being a coach's assistant. You can also encourage your child to start a new hobby, like playing the guitar or painting.

We will help you continue to monitor your child's emotional state as they recover. If you notice your child has become angry or depressed, consider talking to a school counselor or child therapist, who may be able to help them cope and look ahead to better days.