Sports injuries/would like input

Specialties Emergency


I had a 15 year old girl come in tonight with shoulder pain that radiated to her elbow and numbness and tingling below the elbow. She had been having problems with pain, numbness and tingling intermittently for three weeks now. She is a catcher on the high school softball team.

She had been seeing the sports trainer for the local HS who told her that she may have a torn muscle and to apply ice and see her again before the next game. She went back to see the trainer and the trainer told her she would be okay to play ball.

She had a game on Thursday night and after the game, her whole arm was numb from the shoulder to the finger tips. She reported this to her mother.

Tonight her mother asked the coach to not put her in the game. The coach stated that the trainer said she was okay and she would like her to play her in the game because "after all the trainer is just like a nurse." Mom agreed, because she thought that this person had medical training, so her daughter would be okay.

The daughters pain was so bad that the daughter asked to be taken out of the game. The coach refused and instead put her in center field. Ball was hit to CF and girl caught the ball and threw it to second base and immediately felt severe pain to shoulder and numbness and tingling from elbow down. Coach took her out of the game, but did not want her to seek treatment until after the game. Mom brought her right to the ER.

I have seen this girl in our ER before and she is no wimp when it comes to pain. The girl arrives with tears in her eyes.

Mom tells me that she felt so bad for letting her play, but she was taking the advise of someone who is "just like a nurse".

I told her that I don't think any nurse would advise anyone to play with these problems until they were cleared by a doc.

Xray was good, but we do not have MRI available, so she will need to wait a few days for that. Until then she is out of softball probably for the rest of the season and maybe forever.

This seems to be a common thing with the kids in sports in this area. They are encouraged to play with injuries and NEVER advised to seek medical attention, they are actually told they don't have to seek medical attention because they have this questionable sports trainer. I am getting very concerned about this as I have seen this before.

I was livid.

I just wanted to get this off my chest. But do you guys think I am making a mountain out of a mole hill or am I right and is something really wrong here?

I am considering making a call to the local newspaper about this practice, but I need to know what you all think. I am very concerned about the wellness of our local athletes.:eek: :angryfire


518 Posts

I agree with you Jill. So many kids are injured playing sports and they continue to play. I think it's up to parents to take control. If I was that mother, my kid would have been to the doctors a lot sooner. Too many parents also push their kids too hard to excel in sports and won't except the fact that they are hurt and can't play. I've seen more kids brought into the ER by ambulance after primarily a football game, without the parents. WE are told the parents will be down when the half is over. WHAAAAT! Also the first question some parents ask is "how soon can my son/daughter play again?" "You know they are the star player". Give me a break. I have kids that play sports and their health will always come first!!


1,961 Posts

I agree Jill. I think it's the message they get from professional athletes. How many times have you heard of the player getting steriod and pain med injections so they can go out and play? What kind of more serious damage do you think this is doing to the injury? Doesn't matter, because "the win" is what is becoming important, no matter what damage it does to the athlete.

My son recently took up soccer. He's on a team with other 1st graders. It's outrageous the way the parents carry on, all about a bunch of 7 year olds!



244 Posts

Thanks for your replies. This mom did want to get medical treatment for her daughter, but was discouraged because this althletic trainer was "just like a nurse". She trusted suposedly intellegent, educated people, who did not look out for the welfare of this child, but played with an injury even though mom asked them not too. This is the exact reason why I go to all of my daughters games, I don't care if they have to forfeit, I will not allow them to play her hurt, with numbness and tingling down an extremity.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Howdy yall

from deep in the heart of texas.

Now yall have really touched a subject that is dear to my heart. School sports, organized community sports, etc. And not meant to be last at all is the so called trainer. After all these years in The ER Ive come to realize that nothing is more likely to guarantee us job security than the idiocy of so called trainers, in the unprofessional organized sports systems. Coaches or trainers with their attitudes do more harm to kids then ever realized. And the number of greatest idiocies continues unabated at an increaseing pace. And what is a trainer, mostly they are a coach with a degree in PE, they like to call it Kinesiology. If they are lucky they have some first aid training. But here in Texas as in most areas of the country, sports are highly favored, with little restrictions or guidelines to supervise them, it seems. I will say that at least the football teams in the schools all, have a orthopedic surgeon present for all the games. But the rest are dependent if there happens to be one watching, who is willing to get involved in this litiginous society.

Ive even had trainers, come into the ER and try to tell the ER physicians how to best care for the team player that has been injured. That always just tickles the ER MDs too the pink.

But most unfortunately, while there are trainers out there who are expected to look out for the best interest of the team, terrible incidents will continue to occur.

Now I know there are more than likely some terribly good trainers out there, who care 100 percent for the kids, but unfortunately they are minority. In a culture where winning is all important.

Keep it in the short grass yalll



564 Posts

This young lady may well have a nerve entrapment/impingement. This could occur from hyperextension when throwing a ball repeatedly, or some other extensor/repetitive motion.

Sports for kids is not, in most cases. It is sports for adults who play little kids like they are adults. The only thing is, an adult would say no, or have their manager say no to being played while injured.

As far as the trainer being "just like a nurse," I would have a talk with the school athletic director and principal and tell them that the coach is misrepresenting his trainer.:rolleyes:

Specializes in ED staff.

Girls NEVER get the same opportunities the boys an orthopod at the game. I know this because my daughter is a HS softball player. We have trainers too at the major tournaments, I do not know what their education is, I am lucky if my daughter gets hurt she comes to mom, she's never been to see the trainer. As far as seeking medical attention goes, many of the girls will not say that they are hurt. They bear the pain...the shortstop on my daughter's team had an avulsion fracture in her ankle for weeks before she finally reinjured it and had to go to the orthopod who took her out of the game for 3 weeks and on crutches...she was back in the next week. Coach should have refused to play her, but she is one of the better players and he has an ego, he allowed it...hope nothing happens to her.


244 Posts

I got an update on this girl today. Her arm is still very painful and numb. She saw one of our orthos who told her that she is young and it will heal, he released her back to sports/gym. Her mom is not letting her play though, she made an appointment with the other ortho, and hopefully he will take this a little more seriously. This jerk ortho never even ordered a MRI, just told her she will heal. The mom is very upset that they are blowing this off and is determined not to give up and let her daughter suffer further injury, so that is good. I will keep you all posted. Thanks to everyone for the replies, keep em coming.

One more thing, the gym teacher told mom that if the girl was not participating in gym, even with the docs recomendation that she not participate, she would fail. I told her to fight that. Can they really do that? Even when they have a doctors excuse?


564 Posts

You bet that Mom should fight that. What does the P.E. teacher need-a note from God Himself? grrr... (glad it's Friday)


656 Posts

Perhaps the gym teacher should get a note from the girl's attorney (with the doctor's note attached) stating that the girl WILL be excused from gym and NOT fail. Better yet, the principal should get a note from the girl's attorney (cc to the gym teacher). The school system's lucky they're not getting sued.

It's pathetic how far schools will go to endanger kid's health -- coaches, trainers -- nothing is more important than our kid's safety. Things have gotten way out of hand.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

This is hideous...the girl and her mom aren't getting support from ANYONE at that school. What a bunch of bullsh*t!

How can they not honor a doctor's note????? Idiots...

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