Overuse Injuries in the Pediatric Population

Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2016 Dec;24(4):150-158. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000129.


Athletic overuse injuries are becoming an increasingly common entity in the active pediatric population. The prevalence of these injuries may be attributed to the combination of an underdeveloped musculoskeletal system, increased participation in competitive sport at a younger age, and increased duration and intensity of training. Many of these injuries may go unreported and/or undiagnosed, as they do not all result in time lost from sports, and are not always appreciated on imaging. Left unrecognized, untreated, or poorly managed, overuse injuries can have long-term health consequences for young athletes. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the most recent literature pertaining to the diagnosis and management of several common pediatric overuse injuries. These specific injuries include Little League shoulder and elbow, osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow, stress fractures of the lumbar spine (spondylolysis), femoral neck and tibial shaft stress fractures, Osgood-Schlatter disease, and Sever disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / therapy
  • Humans