There’s a new game plan for young athletes in South Florida with injury prevention in mind.
The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Sports Health Center opened in December 2017 and the team is working to help athletes not only make a comeback but also stop injuries before they happen.
Juliet Pagan has had two surgeries in two years and she’s finally back on the softball diamond.
“She’s returned very strong and she’s strong in different ways,” said Stacy Pagan, Juliet’s mom.
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Soccer player Angeline Baro just returned to the soccer field after tearing her meniscus, ACL, and LCL.
When both athletes got injured last year, they had to visit multiple facilities for doctors visits, physical therapy, and injury prevention, but now Nicklaus Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive care under one roof.
“This center is the first of its kind in South Florida. It’s pediatric sports medicine all in one building,” said Lauren Butler of the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Sports Health Center.
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Studies say 4 in 10 child emergency room visits are sports related, contributing to nearly a billion dollars a year in hospital bills. Surgeries to repair torn ACL’s in girls have jumped 59% since 2002.
“The type of training that we provide the athletes with is really designed to correct those movement impairments to reduce their risk of suffering an ACL injury,” said Butler.
It takes athletes about a year to get back into their sport after an ACL reconstruction.
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The Pinecrest facility also has programs available to athletes who have never had an injury, including injury prevention screenings.
“My quads have gotten bigger. I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and my balance has gotten a lot better. Overall my body control is a lot better,” said Juliet Pagan, a young South Florida athlete.