Youth Para and Adaptive Sports Medicine

  • Mary E. DubonEmail author
  • Craig Rovito
  • D. Kiko Van Zandt
  • Cheri A. Blauwet
Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (A Houtrow and M Fuentes, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine


Purpose of Review

This review aims to provide an overview of sports medicine principles pertaining to youth Para athletes.

Recent Findings

While little research on youth Para athletics exists, recent elite Paralympic Games data confirms a higher rate of upper extremity injuries in wheelchair athletes and lower extremity injuries in ambulatory athletes, while showing a higher rate of acute injuries in the Winter Games and skin/soft-tissue injuries in Summer Games. These summer sport findings are consistent with historic youth Para sport data.


Clinicians caring for youth Para athletes should be aware of medical considerations for Para athletes with various medical conditions. While little research exists specifically on youth Para sport, we review pediatric rehabilitation medicine and sports medicine principles and data from the adult literature to help prepare clinicians caring for this population. Future research should focus on injury patterns and injury prevention in the youth Para sport population.


Youth Para sport Youth adaptive sport Pediatric sports medicine Pediatric rehabilitation medicine Youth wheelchair athlete Pediatric wheelchair athlete 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Mary Dubon reports that her husband is employed by and has stock ownership in an orthopedic PACS company, Medstrat. D. Kiko Van Zandt reports that from 2004 to 2013, she served as an assistant swim coach for the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team. This included a number of travel trips to foreign countries for competitions including the Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, World Championships, and Para Pan Pacific Championship. Travel, lodging, and meals were provided by U.S. Paralympics. A small stipend was also paid for services rendered for each trip. Craig Rovito and Cheri Blauwet declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human rights

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Dubon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Craig Rovito
    • 4
    • 5
  • D. Kiko Van Zandt
    • 6
  • Cheri A. Blauwet
    • 4
    • 5
    • 7
  1. 1.Division of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports MedicineAnn & Robert H. Children’s Hospital of Chicago/McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation MedicineSpaulding Rehabilitation HospitalCharlestownUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Division of Sports MedicineBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationSpaulding Rehabilitation HospitalCharlestownUSA
  6. 6.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineSeattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA
  7. 7.Brigham and Women’s Hospital Orthopedic Sports Medicine ServiceBostonUSA

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