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Will gymnastics stunt my child’s growth?

By on July 3, 2013
gymnastics

Dr. Daniel Green- Orthopedic Surgeon

We are so excited to bring you, Dr. Daniel Green, orthopedic surgeon from Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, sharing some of his expert advice on Sports Medicine and what to expect when your daughter starts playing after school sports.

We’ll be bringing you a variety of questions and answers he has provided to us, but feel free to ask him a few of your own! We’ll get him right on it!!

Here’s the next question!

My ten year old wants to start gymnastics. Will that stunt his/her growth? What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen?

In general, gymnastics in itself does not stunt growth. Gymnasts tend to be of short stature, but that’s more due to the fact that that makes them well-suited for the sport. Young kids can have growth issues if they have an extreme nutritional problem or if they get multiple fractures near a growth plate. Repetitive impact on a limb that has a growth fracture could result in one limb being slightly shorter than the other, but this is exceedingly rare. Competitive gymnasts and successful dancers tend to be more susceptible to eating disorders, because they can be under pressure to keep their weight down. We keep our guard up for those kinds of conditions. We want these young athletes to be nutritionally optimized without going to any extremes

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