Dr. Joshua Abzug evaluates an upper limb injury patient.

Dr. Joshua Abzug evaluates a teen with an arm injury.

The most common cheerleader and gymnast injuries include wrist, elbow and arm injuries, such as:

  • Osteochondritis dissecans, also known as OCD elbow
  • Gymnast wrist (distal radial epiphysitis), an overuse injury that affects the growth plate in younger athletes
  • Fractures and sprains, which occur in gymnasts and cheerleaders who are most advanced in skills, around age 8 and older

Cheerleaders also have a higher incidence of ankle sprains and knee injuries.

One of the biggest myths about children's wrist and elbow injuries is that once you have an upper limb injury, you are done with the sport, which is false. At University of Maryland Orthopaedics, our goal is to have athletes back in the game quickly.

Joshua Abzug, MD, a board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon, explains, "My goal is to get young athletes back to their pre-injury activities in a timely manner. My colleagues and I treat athletes from novice to college and elite levels."

Treating your Child's Cheer or Gymnast Injury

At UM Orthopaedics, we have the only dedicated gymnastics and cheerleading injury treatment program in the region.

We use small joint arthroscopy of the elbow and wrist to treat ligament injuries and OCD. The benefits of this minimally invasive approach include less pain and quicker recovery. And we continue to work toward non-invasive technologies that prevent the need for surgery.

Preventing Gymnastics Injuries

Cheerleader and gymnast injury prevention involves proper technique and equipment. This includes specific splints used for these developing athletes to prevent wrist hyperextension.

The key with gymnast wrist is to recognize the pain early on and allow the issue to heal before worse injury occurs.

Make an Appointment

Call UM Orthopaedics at 410-448-6400 or contact us online to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your child's sports injury. We have offices in Baltimore City, Bel Air, College Park, Columbia, Gwynn Oak and Timonium.

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