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Keeping kids in the game after a sports injury

Raymond Spalding is a giant on the basketball court.

At 6’9″ and wearing a whopping 16.5 shoe size, Raymond Spalding is a giant on the basketball court. The Trinity High School sophomore is a starter on the junior varsity squad as well as a member of the varsity team. During a practice in early 2012, a bad landing left him with a fracture just below his knee, and worse, through a growth plate. He required surgery.

For more than 3.5 million teen athletes each year, sports-related injuries can take them out of the game they love. According to Joshua Meier, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, sports injuries such as Raymond’s are common among his age group, with sprains and strains being the leading cause of injury among teen athletes.

Dr. Meier advocates encouraging teen athletes to use proper technique and form, including proper warmups and cool-downs, to prevent sports-related injuries. He suggests teen athletes treat pain with ice and rest and that they be made to feel comfortable talking with a coach or trainer if a suspected injury occurs.

“Teen athletes have a tendency to push through injury or pains just to stay in the game,” Dr. Meier said. “Coaches and parents should let them know that aches and pains are normal but that they should tell someone if they are hurting to prevent a much bigger injury.” Raymond is back on the court after surgery and a 12-week recovery process that included physical therapy three times a week in order for him to regain the range of motion and strength needed for basketball season.

“He’s back at full power and playing really well,” said his mother, Geraldine. “It was an experience I didn’t want for my child, but it was a smooth recovery process, and he is back to normal.” Raymond is still growing and playing the game he loves even after knee surgery. The team standout has plans for a long, injury-free basketball career with hopes for college hoops in the near future.

–Tracy Keller

Does your child need an orthopaedic specialist?

Only one place in Louisville serves the specific orthopaedic needs of children, and that’s Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville. These specialists are skilled in providing expert care for young people whose musculoskeletal systems are still developing. To make an appointment, call Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville at (502) 394-5678.

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