With the rising popularity of ice hockey and its high injury rate, the aim of this review was to provide more knowledge to physicians about the management and prevention of common injuries seen in young hockey players.
Physicians taking care of youth hockey players should be familiar with the common lower extremity musculoskeletal injury patterns that result from play.
The hip and groin constitute one of the most common areas to sustain an injury in ice hockey players.
Hip pointers are iliac crest contusions that occur due to the compression of gluteal muscles against the iliac crest after falling or being checked into the boards.
Femoroacetabular impingement is the most commonly diagnosed cause of hip and groin pain in ice hockey players at all ages and levels of play.
Athletic pubalgia is caused by a tear or weakness of the posterior inguinal wall, characterised by pain that radiates to the adductor muscle and the groin region during sporting motions such as twisting or turning during a single-limb stance.
Chronic groin pain is a common entity in ice hockey players and can often be due to a multitude of etiologies, making it difficult to diagnose and treat; the most common cause of chronic groin pain is an adductor muscle strain.
The skeletal immaturity of adolescent athletes places them at an increased risk of sustaining apophyseal avulsion injuries, which are unique to the pediatric population.
Education programs have been implemented as an injury prevention tool in youth hockey in both the US and Canada.
Recent rule changes have now raised the minimum age at which checking is permitted to the Bantam level (13–14 years old); this would allow for further skill development and a decreased risk of injury.
Increasing the size of the ice surface to international size may also help to reduce injuries on the ice.
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