5 Injuries That Sports Medicine Doctors Can Treat

March 14, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

An injury can derail or even end a sportsperson’s career. Common injuries include bone fractures, strains and sprains, lacerations, broken bones, dislocated limbs, concussions, as well as contusions and abrasions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional athletes suffer more than 2,000 injuries for every 10,000 people. Nevertheless, bodies such as the National Operating Committee on Standards in Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) are working on ways to improve the safety of sports people. Some of treatments that a physical therapist and qualified sports doctor can offer an athlete include:

Cartilage Restoration

Cartilage damage can lead to excruciating joint pain. The good news is a doctor who specializes in sports medicine can perform surgery to repair cartilage damage. One of the procedures a doctor can use to repair such damage is cartilage cell transplantation (ACI) that involves harvesting a patient’s cells, growing them in a laboratory culture, and then re-implanting them in the body part with torn cartilage. Other procedures used to treat damaged cartilage include arthroscopic microfracture and arthroscopic debridement.

Joint Reconstruction/Replacement

Repetitive injuries can lead to the deterioration of joints in various parts of the body. Common injuries in this category include labral tears, rotator cuff injury, knee running pain, dislocations, and shoulder impingement. In such a situation, one may require reconstruction or replacement of the damaged joint. Depending on your doctor’s diagnosis, he or she may carry out minimally invasive, partial, or total replacement.

Non-Operative Muscle Strain Treatment

Some sports injuries do not necessarily require surgical procedures. In some cases, nonoperative treatment may be necessary and beneficial to reduce joint pain, relieve pain, and restore one’s normal range of motion. A treatment approach that your doctor may use is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). This works well for injuries such as knee running pain when combined with some gentle massaging of the injured lib or body part. Your sports medicine therapist may prescribe heat therapy and muscle strengthening exercises as well.

Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue (FAST) Procedure

Traditionally, doctors treated tendon pain using medications, surgery, and recommending rest. The problem with this approach is it could take months or even years for an athlete to recover from knee running pain. However, the FAST procedure can allow an athlete to resume competitive sports within one to two months. FAST involves removing the source of tendon pain surgically without disturbing the surrounding tendon tissue. In fact, doctors perform this procedure using local anesthesia while patients are alert and awake.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Platelet rich plasma therapy involves injecting blood plasma into injured ligaments and tendons. The aim is to help the body’s connective tissues regenerate and heal. The Andrews Institute Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Department reckons that this treatment can eliminate the need to undergo aggressive treatments such as surgery.

Whether you are a professional sportsperson or an amateur, an injury can prevent you from playing your favorite sport. Body parts that can sustain injuries while engaged in sports activities include the hands, legs, hips, head, eyes, and shoulders. Nevertheless, a doctor can treat these injuries using procedures such as FAST, platelet rich plasma therapy, and cartilage restoration.

Article written by Charley Olney

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