Lower Leg Injuries
Most lower leg structures are subcutaneous in part, and often a specific diagnosis is clear from the history and the physical examination. The cause of the young athlete’s lower leg problem, however, may require more sleuthing. Some injuries are related to growth and development; certain injury patterns are more likely to appear at particular stages of growth. Others are related to sport-specific training, technique, or equipment. Complete care for the young athlete’s problem typically includes not only making the correct diagnosis and treating the problem but also finding and correcting the factors that likely led to the problem. The problem may recur if these factors are not addressed! Lower leg injuries may cause difficulties elsewhere in the lower extremity kinetic chain or even more proximally. Conversely, abnormal knee or foot/ankle biomechanics—or age-related strength, flexibility or coordination deficits—may cause lower leg injury. This chapter provides information on typical lower leg problems, to aid interpretation of the findings in the context of the young athlete’s individual situation.
KeywordsTibia Fibula Achilles tendon Child Adolescent Athlete Gastrocnemius Compartment syndrome Stress fracture Return to play
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