What Is the Young Athlete Program?

If you have young athletes in your life, or you’re a young athlete yourself, the Young Athlete Program at UPMC Sports Medicine has your back.

We help active young people continue the activities they love, whether that’s helping them prevent injury or returning them to high-level, postinjury play.

While there are specific age and growth factors to consider while treating and training young athletes, our team emphasizes treating young athletes as athletes first – just as we’d treat any high school, college, or professional athlete who walks into our clinic.

We understand that sports have become competitive increasingly early in an athlete’s life, so we want to partner with you and your young athlete to not only treat their injury, but to help rehabilitate and train them to return to sport in as good as shape — or in better shape — than they were preinjury.

One Team Under One Roof

Young athletes are particularly prone to injury, often due to improper mechanics, overtraining while they are still maturing, and increasingly early sport specialization. Should they become injured, it’s important to have consistent communication across providers throughout their care journey.

At UPMC Sports Medicine, we work as a cohesive team to provide seamless, individualized care for young athletes and active kids, while catering to each aspect of their overall health. Our core team includes:

  • Orthopaedic surgeons.
  • Primary care sports medicine physicians.
  • Physiatrists.
  • Physical therapists.
  • Athletic trainers.
  • Neuropsychologists.
  • Mental health experts.
  • Nutritionists.
  • Performance coaches.
  • Radiologists.

A young athlete may see any or all of these providers during their recovery, depending on the type of injury they have and their specific health and performance needs.

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Comprehensive Care for Young Athletes

Our program offers access to all of our sports medicine experts under one roof and a complete range of services to help patients return to sport as quickly and safely as possible, including:

  • Accelerated appointment scheduling.
  • Comprehensive evaluations by sports medicine experts.
  • Nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for sports-related injuries.
  • Sport-specific rehabilitation through UPMC Centers for Rehab Services.
  • Injury prevention, sports performance, and sports nutrition services.
  • Concussion care through the world-renowned UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.
  • Research-backed return-to-sport testing and clearance for specific injuries, including ACL issues.
  • Advanced imaging equipment and technology for diagnosing sports-related injuries.
  • Mental health and wellness resources through UPMC Western Behavioral Health.
  • Streamlined access to pediatric specialty care through UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, as needed.

Care for Young Athletes at UPMC

The Young Athlete Program at UPMC Sports Medicine has two primary locations – the UPMC Freddie Fu Sports Medicine Centers in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood and the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.

While the majority of initial visits will take place at one of these two locations, we collaborate with more than a dozen UPMC Centers for Rehab Services locations throughout Western Pa. so that you may continue your physical therapy/sports rehabilitation at a location closer to home. Your physical therapist will be an expert in sports rehabilitation and will continue communication with your other care providers until you return to play.

For more information, visit our website or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.

Resources for Your Sport

Want to know more about your specific sport or activity and how sports medicine experts can help? Visit our website to choose the sport(s) your young athlete plays and learn more about common injuries, prevention methods, treatments, and return-to-play protocols. You will also find blog articles about sports specialization, burnout, physical therapy for young athletes, and more.

About Sports Medicine

An athletic lifestyle carries the potential for injury. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you get back into the game. If you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, we can work with you to meet your goals. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our goal is to help you keep doing what you love. Visit our website to find a specialist near you.