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Adolescent Athlete Injuries

Adolescent Athlete Injuries

 I am happy to see so many new faces in Oklahoma Volleyball. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tony Jabbour and I have participated in Volleyball since 1981. Unfortunately, my time schedule has limited my recent participation.

I am a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon with a subspecialty in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopic Surgery. I would like to write articles that will hopefully prevent you from getting injured.

I know many of you have been involved in coaching young players. I would like to devote the first article of the year to the young athletes’ injuries.


The Young Athlete

Athletic participation has increased greatly in grade schools, high schools, and junior programs. Young athletes have special needs when compared to adults. Their bodies are growing and they require different coaching, conditioning, and medical care than more mature athletes. Specifically, the growth plates close to the hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow and wrist are still open until mid-teenage years. What this means is that the young immature skeleton has a high risk of growth plate fracture rather than sustaining a simple sprain. This is very common in the young athlete when considering an acute injury about the knee and ankle. You should not dismiss an injury about the knee or ankle in young players as being a simple sprain.

What should you do as a coach or a parent if presented with this situation during a game or practice?

You come across a young athlete who had sustained an acute twisting injury to the knee or the ankle. The athlete is down and cannot get up because of pain.

You should first check your own blood pressure, meaning calm down and get yourself and the situation under control. Ask the injured athlete exactly what happened and where does it hurt? Make the athlete point to the specific area of pain. Give him or her a couple of minutes to catch their breath and then ask if they can get up and bear weight on the injured extremity. If they are unable to put weight on that extremity or you see an obvious deformity or immediate swelling then you should apply ice on the injured part, and send the athlete to the emergency room or orthopedic surgeon for X-rays.

What if the athlete is able to walk around with a mild limp, and you are unsure if they should continue playing?

Then the athlete should demonstrate the ability to perform a single leg hop (jumping in place on the injured extremity on his tip toes 10 times in a row) as well as running in a figure of eight pattern (running in circles clockwise and counterclockwise) before returning to competition.

Hopefully, the above can serve as a basic guideline to treating the young athlete at the volleyball courtside if a medical professional is not readily available.

If you have any questions about this or other articles, you can write to me at

Associates 4802 South 109th East Avenue
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74146-5822
or E-mail:

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