If you play a sport, you’ve no doubt had at least one injury in your life. It may have been as minor as a bruise or as severe as a broken bone. Sports medicine doctors are well-equipped to handle all types of sports injuries.
Read on to learn about the 5 most common sports injuries and how doctors treat them.
Sprains are injuries that involve damage to soft tissues. The most common area that experiences sprain is the ankle. However, it could also affect the knee and wrist. Athletes commonly experience this condition due to their need to change direction quickly.
Initial intervention for a sprain includes the RICE method. RICE stands for:
Avoid activity for the time being. It’s best to cease playing, sit down, and prevent straining the affected body part.
Cold temperatures help reduce swelling in the affected area and numb pain. However, be sure to time how long you apply ice. Experiencing extremely cold temperatures for more than 20 minutes may damage tissue, potentially worsening the injury.
Compression also helps reduce swelling. However, one vital thing to remember is that the affected part should not feel numb. It’s also critical to adjust what you’re using to compress the body part if you see swelling around the compression sock or bandage.
Elevate the damaged part above your heart so that fluid drains from it more effectively.
This condition rarely requires surgery to treat. Recovery from sprains can take days to months, depending on the severity of the injury.
2. Knee Injuries
The knee is composed of tendons, ligaments, a joint, and muscles. Injuring any part of it is practically inevitable in sports. Different knee injuries have varying causes and recovery times.
The most common knee injuries are:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury This injury involves tearing the ACL, the ligament that connects the shinbone to the thigh bone.
- Torn Meniscus The meniscus is part of the knee that absorbs the shock applied on the knees when doing activities, like sports.
- Patellar Tendinitis Tendons are thick muscles that attach muscles to bones. Patellar tendinitis is the inflammation and swelling of the tendon in the patella, occurring if the patellar tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone gets injured.
Treatment interventions for different knee injuries depend on the assessment of your sports medicine doctor.
3. Separated Shoulder
You get a separate shoulder when the ligament holding the collarbone to the clavicle gets injured, typically due to impact. Swimmers, football and hockey players, and other athletes that use their shoulders often experience this injury.
The RICE method can treat most cases of a separated shoulder. Patients with mild cases may recover within days to weeks of intervention. Conversely, more severe shoulder separations require surgery to reattach the ligament to the bone.
Fractures are partial or complete breaks in the bone. They may occur because of falls or a direct blow to the area. You can also suffer fractures due to diseases that weaken your bones, such as osteoporosis.
There are two classifications of fractures: open and closed.
These are also called compound fractures. As the name suggests, this type of fracture causes an opening in the body through a rupture. Open fractures involve bones that poke through the skin after the break occurs. These fractures need surgery to piece the bones back together.
These are also called simple fractures. This condition involves a broken bone, but the skin is unbroken. Some fractures result from overuse and repetitive usage of the bones. Fractures are commonly observed in athletes, especially athletes who participate in high-impact and contact sports.
A joint can become dislocated, or out of place, through a collision, accident, or direct blow of any kind. When dislocations occur, they are painful and may cause temporary immobilization until the bones are back in place.
Most doctors will recommend the following methods to treat a dislocation:
- RICE method
- Splints or cast
- Pain medication
- Repositioning to set the joint correctly
More severe dislocations may need surgery to realign the bones. The need for surgery is rare but can occur if the injury causing the dislocation damaged the bones.
Sports Medicine Doctors in Westlake
Injuries are a fact of life when it comes to sports. You can decrease your risk of getting injured through proper warmups, correct form, adequate rest, and proper equipment, but it won’t be impossible.
If you’re looking for a place to get your orthopedic health checked, look no further than Orthopedic Associates. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists, together with our caring healthcare team, can surely take care of you.
If you want to know more about our services, you may give us a call, or contact us online. You may also secure an appointment by calling us at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. We look forward to serving you!