Welcome to the

Center for Young Athletes

We offer interdisciplinary, patient-centered care to young people with sports injuries.

Being physically active helps children, adolescents, and young adults to be healthy and strong. Participating in active play, exercising, or playing on a sports team can help prevent conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. When vigorous activity leads to injuries, such as sprains, tears, or fractures, children who are still growing may require different care and consideration from adults with the same conditions.

Sports Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Alaia is part of our larger Center for Young Athletes team whose goal is helping young people reach their athletic and health potential.

At the Center for Young Athletes, our pediatric sports medicine specialists are experts in helping young people with sports-related injuries return to the top of their game and prevent additional injuries from happening. As part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we offer multispecialty care that is designed to address the unique needs of young athletes, including orthopedic care, imaging services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports nutrition, sports psychology, sports-related breathing issues, sport-specific performance assessment and training services, and educational services.

We schedule your child’s first visit within one to two days of your appointment request. Early treatment not only helps to prevent pain and injury later in life, but also allows your child to continue pursuing the sport he or she loves. Our clinical program coordinator organizes services, ensuring your child has access to everything he or she needs to get the most out of each visit.

Pediatric Sports Injuries We Treat

Our team of sports medicine specialists treats a wide variety of injuries and conditions that affect young athletes. Some of the most common include the following:

  • concussion
  • knee injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, meniscal tears, and kneecap dislocation and instability
  • shoulder injuries, including dislocation, instability, and strains, sprains, and tears
  • elbow injuries, including dislocation, instability, ligament tears, and sprains and strains
  • growth plate injuries, such as gymnast’s wrist and little leaguer’s elbow
  • hip injuries, including hip impingement syndrome, labral tears, and snapping hip syndrome, also called dancer’s hip
  • hand and wrist injuries, including sprains and strains, as well as fractures
  • foot and ankle injuries, including sprains, strains, and fractures
  • overuse injuries
  • back pain and back conditions, such as spondylolysis
  • osteochondritis dissecans lesions in joints, which can cause pain, swelling, and a locking sensation

Our rehabilitation specialists tailor physical and occupational therapy to children and adolescents who have experienced a sports-related injury. We guide children and families through the recovery process to help them set goals and return safely to their game.

We offer sports performance testing and screening for baseball, golf, hockey, and soccer, as well as for running, swimming, and dancing. Our programs—including pitching analysis and pre-pointe assessment for ballet dancers—are designed to help young athletes achieve their potential and prevent injury.

Learn more about NYU Langone’s Sports Health programs, where our experts in sports medicine, rehabilitation, and performance training provide world-class care to athletes and active people of all ages.

Educational Services for Young Athletes, Families, and Professionals

Experts at the Center for Young Athletes are leaders in their field who lecture nationally and internationally. They frequently provide educational services for community organizations, including primary and secondary schools, universities, and youth leagues. Our experts can advise on a range of topics that include ACL injury prevention, performance enhancement, and concussion awareness and prevention. We regularly work with parents, coaches, referees, and school and league administrators.

Our doctors are involved in the Public Schools Athletic League, an organization that promotes student athletics in New York City’s public schools. They also educate students at independent schools about concussion and sports safety. Several of our doctors have served on the board of directors of the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society, and many others have firsthand experience playing in or coaching youth sports. Many of our physical therapists are board-certified in pediatrics.

Please email Dina Pagnotta at geraldine.pagnotta@nyulangone.org or call 646-501-7749 for more information or to schedule one of our experts to speak at your school, office, or community organization.

Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone

Our pediatric experts provide the best care possible for children with conditions ranging from minor illnesses to complex, more serious conditions.

Learn More

Our Leadership

  • Dennis A. Cardone at Center for Young Athletes
    Co-Director | Sports Medicine

    Dr. Cardone is co-director of the Center for Young Athletes. He treats children and adults who have acute sports and non-sports injuries. He also serves as the chief medical officer for the New York City Public Schools Athletic League. He is passionate about working with child, adolescent, and college-age athletes of all skills and abilities. When he’s not seeing patients or working on research projects, he cohosts shows about sports medicine and orthopedics on SiriusXM® Radio.