Over-use injuries among young athletes on the rise - FOX Carolina 21

Over-use injuries among young athletes on the rise

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Kristen Bruton, Kris Bruton, Dr. Alan Posta (FOX Carolina/ Sept. 27, 2016) Kristen Bruton, Kris Bruton, Dr. Alan Posta (FOX Carolina/ Sept. 27, 2016)

Children as young as three years old are suiting up for organized sports like soccer, football, and tennis.

"I've been playing since I was four," Kristen Bruton said. She's a 16-year-old 6 foot, 4 inch tennis player and during a tournament her shoulder began to hurt so she saw a doctor.

"He told me that I had 'little league shoulder,' that I fractured my growth plate," Bruton said.

Doctor Alan Posta, an orthopedic surgeon with the Bon Secours Saint Francis Health System, served up the news.

"There's been a lot of emphasis in the past 15 years on specialization," Posta said.

He says there are more children who play one sport for several years and suffer from what's called over-use injuries.

"Some muscles develop faster than others, so it puts abnormal stresses on certain parts of the body," Posta said. "So, it's not a bad idea if you're a soccer player to go play chess for a couple of weeks."

Dr. Posta first met Kristen through her father, Kris Bruton. 

"I went to Greer High School. From there I went to Benedict College," Kris Bruton said.

He played in the NBA and then became the 6'5 showman, known as Hi-Lite with the Harlem Globetrotters.

"He's the real MVP here- Dr. Posta, all day long," Kris Bruton said.

That's because years ago while playing basketball in Belgium he got hurt.

"I was about to up for a dunk- never made it off the ground," Kris Bruton said.

He ruptured a tendon in his knee and had reconstructive surgery.

"That happened so many years ago, but I've never had any problems out of it since," Kris Bruton said.

But, he worries about his.

"Being so tall, she's injury-prone," Kris Bruton said.

And because she wants to get back on the tennis court, she's doing what Posta said.

"I've just been resting a lot- just letting my body heal and grow, because I'm still growing," Kristen Bruton said.

Posta says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons designed a special program to stop over-use injuries. That program includes guidelines for therapy, rest and age-appropriate standards for repetitious activities.

For more information on the Harlem Globetrotters tour click here.

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