Dr. Randal Troop Talks Sports Injuries in Kids and Teens
Dr. Randal Troop is a certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon with Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Spine Center. Dr. Troop specializes in sports medicine injuries and is currently the head orthopedic physician for the Frisco, TX RoughRiders and an orthopedic consultant for the Texas Rangers as he travels with the team during spring training and consults injured players throughout the season. He has worked as the team physician for multiple local high schools and colleges and continues to be recognized as a top sports medicine doctor in his orthopedic field.
Dr. Randal Troop was recently interviewed and published in Frisco Style Magazine January 2016 Health and Fitness issue discussing sports injuries in kids and teens. The article titled, “It’s All Fun and Games Until…” discusses the strong presence of athletics in Frisco, TX and how more young children are experiencing sports injuries today due to participating in high-level sports at such a young age. Dr. Troop believes the increase in injuries is associated with, “children playing sports all year round and also practicing and playing multiple hours every day. Both of these activities can lead to increased stress of growing bones and joints in young children, which results in injury.”
Dr. Randal Troop’s experience with a variety of sports injuries in kids and teens has lead him to believe they are most commonly divided into two categories, Traumatic Injuries and Overuse Injuries. Traumatic injuries, “such as broken bones and torn ligaments are often difficult to avoid because they are part of playing sports.” Dr. Troop continues, “however, you can decrease the incidence of traumatic injuries such as concussions or broken bones by limiting or avoiding contact sports such as football, hockey and soccer. These types of injuries can occur in non-contact sports such as baseball, gymnastics and basketball though not as commonly seen. Traumatic injuries can often be avoided by proper equipment such as helmets or making sure your coach is teaching proper techniques for the sport in question.”
Overuse injuries often seen with too much running, jumping, dancing or throwing “are much more under the control of the coaches and parents,” says Dr. Troop. “Overuse injuries occur when young athletes train too many hours in a week or are focusing on multiple sports every day. Children’s growing bodies need time to heal themselves and the repetitive strain on their bones and joints with multiple hours of practice or sports aren’t allowing enough recovery time to prevent overuse injuries. This continued stress on the body can lead to stress fractures, growth plate injuries and tendinitis.”
So what can parents do to help their kids and teens prevent sports injuries, but still enjoy the wide community of sports in Frisco, TX? Dr. Troop recommends, “monitoring the amount of practice time and games allowed per week and parents should be vigilant in listening to their children when they begin to complain about pains they are having during or after practice and games.” Dr. Troop continues to mention, “soreness of course is normal with playing and practicing sports, however, children who continue to play and complain of pain with activities should not be encouraged to push through it.” Adults have a higher capacity for working through soreness and pain, children’s growing bones and ligaments are not as strong and may not be able to withstand the repetitive trauma of playing day after day.
Dr. Troop shares a story of a patient who was a teenage boy playing basketball and complaining of prolonged knee pain. His diagnosis was an injury to his growth plate and Dr. Troop recommended 4-6 weeks rest until the pain resolved and the injury healed before continuing basketball. The patient had a big tournament he didn’t want to miss and decided to play regardless of Dr. Troop’s recommendation and ended up pulling off the growth plate in his knee requiring surgery. He then missed 6 months of basketball following surgery with Dr. Troop and the rehabilitation of the knee as opposed to 4-6 weeks. Dr. Troop believes, “the main job of the parent is to be the advocate for their child as they navigate through the large world of sports. Often times coaches can be short sighted and not realize the stress they are putting on growing bones and joints. Coaches often may not be aware of the many sports their athletes are participating in as well. Parents have the final responsibility in deciding when their children are doing too much and when this can lead to an overuse injury.”
A good rule of thumb is to rest, utilizing “RICE” method when children are complaining of injury or soreness. R-rest, I-ice, C-compression, E-elevation depending on the injury and of course NSAID’s such as Advil to assist with pain and swelling. Take a small break from the kids and teens overactive schedule and see if the pain subsides. Dr. Troop advises parents, “to have pain evaluated by a trained sports medicine specialist if their child complains of increasing pain that does not resolve with the rest and Advil recommended above. He urges parents not to encourage children to push through the pain and to listen to what their kids and teens are saying about their sports injury.”
“Bottom line is that the impact of sports injuries can be long-lasting or detrimental to the future plans of a young athlete. Taking control and knowing when to seek medical attention is an easy way to keep your athlete in the game, off the bench and performing at their highest level.” says Allie Spletter, a Frisco Teacher and Coach.
To learn more about Dr. Randal Troop, visit www.posmccom/physicians/troop
Frisco Style Magazine January 2016 Vol. XX, Issue 08