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The Young Athlete

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Diagnosis

Diagnosis of any sports-related orthopaedic injury should be made promptly by orthopaedic surgeons, physicians who specialize in the care of the musculoskeletal system. The physician usually will ask the young athlete how the injury occurred, where the pain is located, in which sport the athlete participates, and then follow with questions about the type of pain to determine whether it is a stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a throbbing.

During the physical examination, the orthopaedist will ask the young athlete to move the affected area to determine whether the normal range of motion has been affected. The orthopaedist will gently touch the area to observe for obvious skeletal abnormalities. X-rays or other radiographic tests may be ordered, depending on the young athlete's condition and the doctor's need for additional information.

Last reviewed and updated: July 2007
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Copyright 2007 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons