A Guide to Sports Medicine

It is not only the athletic field that sports medicine covers. Injuries resulting from physical activities are treated by this branch of orthopedics. They can occur due to overuse, over-exertion, traumatic collision, or over-extension of the ligaments and cartilage of the joints. Sports injuries can happen to any part of the body. It is in the major joints like the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankles that most sports injuries occur.

A sports injury of the shoulder is the rotator cuff tear. Four different muscles and tendons compose the rotator cuff and is responsible for the movement of the arm at the shoulder. Muscles in the rotator cuff can be torn due to traumatic impact, repetitive motion or a strong pull and this could result in serious pain and the loss of shoulder mobility.

There are surgical and non-surgical methods that can help repair a rotator cuff tear but it is based on the severity of the injury. If non-surgical efforts cannot relieve the pain and surgery is required, rotator cuff tears can be repaired through arthroscopic techniques. This type of surgery is minimally invasive. In this method small incisions are made so that a fiber-optic camera can be inserted together with some specialized operating tools. This type of surgery results in successful repair of the rotator cuff with a less painful recover time.

Another common sports injury is a torn ACL which can be treated with sports medicine procedures. Our knees have rotational stability due to the ACL. ACL is torn when there is over rotation, sudden changes in direction, landing incorrectly or traumatic collision. When the ACL is torn there is a popping noise and you will not be able to put weight on the knee joint because of the pain and swelling.

Non-surgical treatment options are available after an ACL tear Surgery though is necessary since torn ACL will not heal on its own to be able to return to active lifestyle. Now, torn ACL can be repaired through arthroscopic procedures. You can recover fast with this surgery but you cannot return to sports until after six months.

Between the thigh bone and the shinbone is the meniscus which acts as cushioning or shock absorber between the two bones. Meniscal tears result from excess stress on the knee joint from traumatic collision, squatting, or over rotation, and accompanies other knee injuries like the ACL tear.

If your meniscus is torn, you can still walk and athletes may continue to play through the injury. In a few days, you will experience having a stiff and swollen knee but this will happen gradually. RICE or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation is the non-surgical treatment to meniscal tears. If there is a need for surgery, the arthroscopic technic is used.

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