Children's Hospital Colorado

We care for patients’ growing muscles, joints and bones through sports medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and research.

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Two teenage girls try to take the ball away from a third teenage girl on a soccer field.

At the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, we work specifically with young athletes. Our sole focus is to help your child or teen play, excel and enjoy the sports they love, including soccer.

Why are we experts at caring for kids and young athletes who play soccer?

Soccer is one of the most popular sports among athletes we see, and we take pride in helping our patients stay healthy and active on the soccer field. To best care for this unique population, we have a special team of Sports Medicine experts who specialize in treatment for kids, teens and young adult soccer players.

What is soccer's impact on the body?

Soccer is a physically demanding sport, no matter what the age or level of the athlete. Many times, athletes are asked to play several games in one weekend or even one day. Because soccer is an intense contact sport, we see many players with contact injuries (from collisions with another player, the goalpost, etc). We also see a variety of non-contact injuries, many of which can be prevented. The Sports Medicine team at Children’s Colorado is passionate about educating coaches, parents and children on ways to prevent some of these injuries.

What are common soccer injuries?

  • Concussions can happen to soccer players, although findings show that most concussions aren’t from repeatedly heading the ball, but are from collisions with other players, the ground, goalposts, or when the ball strikes the head unexpectedly.
  • Hip flexor tendinitis is a common soccer injury, especially during periods of rapid growth.
  • Common knee injuries range from acute knee injuries, such as ligament tears (ACL/MCL) and muscle strains, to more chronic knee problems such as patellofemoral pain.
  • Ankle sprains are the most common injury below the knee.

Does soccer affect a certain age group or gender more than others?

Our Sports Medicine specialists see more anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)  tears in teenaged, female soccer players. However, both male and female soccer athletes go through repeated growth spurts that leave them prone to overuse injuries (repeated stress on certain parts of the body due to too much activity), which have become especially prevalent with the onset of year-around training. It is important to remember that even professional athletes have an “off-season,” and we recommend a significant period of rest for all athletes no matter what the level of competition.

Need Advice for Your Young Athlete?

Check out our sports articles, written by our Sports Medicine experts. You'll find advice and tips for parents, coaches, trainers and young athletes.

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