Field of dreams for sports rehab

Young athletes face many challenges, and when injury hits, it can mean the end of the season for some. To help those kids get safely back in the game, St. Louis Children’s Hospital has opened the Young Athlete Center – a new interactive physical therapy center to bridge the gap between traditional rehab clinics and the real playing field.

Mark Halstead, MD, Washington University orthopedic specialist and co-director of the center says, “The facility is like a rehab playground. It is designed to not only rehab young athletes, but train them to prevent injuries as well. It provides rehab space specific to the sport of the young athlete.

We can have a baseball player throwing off a pitching mound. A soccer player can work on cutting drills and footwork on the turf. A runner can get up to speed on the running track.”

The 4,000 square-foot sport-specific therapy and injury prevention space accommodates running, jumping, kicking and throwing. The space includes:

  • Drop-down nets
  • Throwing mounds
  • Turf field and hardwood, providing playing surfaces to simulate on-field activities
  • Basketball hoop

70-foot-long sprinting track that allows athletes’ running form and movements to be evaluated by physicians and therapists

Wireless 3-D motion analysis technology to visualize how athletes are moving in order to identify at-risk patterns and provide education on how to prevent injury

Return-to-sport testing to ensure athletes are prepared to resume their athletic endeavors

Jeffrey Nepple, MD, Washington University orthopedic surgeon and co-director of the center adds, “We are the only center in the region to exclusively treat children and adolescents in the area of sports medicine. The need for the center grew from the dramatic increase in overuse sports injuries we were seeing in young athletes.

Our pediatric-trained sports medicine specialists provide preventative and interventional care. We are committed to helping our patients return to their sport or activity as quickly and safely as possible.”

The Young Athlete Center offers:

  • Same-day appointments
  • Comprehensive evaluations by Washington University orthopedic and sports medicine physicians
  • On-site radiology, imaging, casting and splinting services
  • Nonsurgical management of sports-related injuries
  • Minimally invasive, surgical treatment of sports-related injuries, with same-day discharge
  • Pediatric specialty care of fractures
  • Sports-related concussion assessments
  • Physical therapy, sports psychology, rheumatology, cardiology and nutrition

Make an appointment by calling 314-514-3500, or request an appointment online 

Young Athlete Center
St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center
13001 North Outer Forty 63017
Town and Country, MO