Sports medicine

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These orthopedic injuries run the gamut: sprains, fractures, torn meniscus, torn ligaments, tendonitis, cartilage injuries and more.

Sports injuries can affect just about any part of the body, but they most commonly impact the:

Sometimes sports injuries are tied to a specific event like a fall or a sudden wrong move. Other times, they develop slowly from repetitive movements and overuse. The increasing popularity of club and year-round youth sports means most of today’s pediatric sports injuries are actually overuse injuries.

No matter the cause of your sports injury, it’s important to get the right care from professionals trained in sports medicine. These healthcare experts understand the unique causes of sports injuries and know how to get you back in the gym or on the field as quickly and safely as possible. 

Sports medicine providers at HonorHealth range from family medicine physicians with fellowship training in sports medicine, to board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in sports medicine. Many sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons affiliated with HonorHealth also work with professional, club and high school sports teams, providing expert care to elite and amateur athletes of all ages.

Orthopedic surgeons at HonorHealth collaborate with other experts, including:

Together, they create individualized treatment plans to help get you back in the game as quickly and safely as possible with:

  • Improved range of motion.
  • Increased endurance.
  • Recovered strength.

Your doctor may use a variety of medical imaging technologies to assess your injury and determine the exact cause of your pain.

Some of the most common procedures used to diagnose sports injuries include:

  • X-rays.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans.
  • Ultrasound.

Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will explain the condition and the various treatment options available to you.

When to go to the hospital

Some sports injuries require immediate medical attention and treatment in an emergency department. Signs that you need to see a health professional right away include:

  • Fracture or injury that results in not being able to walk or use the injured limb or area.
  • Numbness or weakness.
  • Severe pain.
  • Large wounds.
  • Puncture wounds.
  • Severe swelling.

If your injury doesn’t require emergency medical care, you may be able to begin managing the condition at home using a technique that experts refer to as RICE:

  • R: Rest the injured area and discontinue the activity that caused injury.
  • I: Ice the injured area two to three times a day for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
  • C: Use compression on the injured area with a brace or wrap.
  • E: Elevate the injured area as much as possible.

If your symptoms don’t improve after several days of using the RICE technique and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, you should see a provider such as:

Treating sports injuries

Like any orthopedic injury or condition, surgery is always the last resort for treating your sports injury. Before opting for surgery, your orthopedic doctor will explore nonsurgical treatments such as:

  • Rest.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Activity modification.
  • Splinting or bracing.
  • Anti-inflammatory injections and over-the-counter medications.

Surgical treatment options

If it’s decided that surgery is the best treatment option for you, orthopedic surgeons at HonorHealth have access to the latest medical and surgical technologies. 

Surgical treatment of a sports injury is usually intended to restore or recreate normal anatomy, which helps improve range of motion, endurance and strength.

Depending on your injury, your orthopedic surgeon can choose to operate using open, arthroscopic or combined open and arthroscopic techniques. Arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery that requires only small incisions thanks to a device known as an arthroscope.

Among the many surgical treatments for sports injuries are:

  • Knee cartilage and meniscus surgeries, including:
    • Repairing a torn meniscus.
    • Trimming the torn portion of the meniscus.
    • Meniscal transplantation.
    • Joint replacement, revision or reconstruction.
  • Ligament surgeries for injuries of the ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL.
  • Patella realignment surgery.
  • Rotator cuff surgery.
  • Shoulder labrum surgery.
  • Hip labrum surgery.
  • Ligament repair or reconstruction.
  • Tendon repair and reattachment.
  • Operative reduction of joints (lining up) and, when needed, fracture and dislocation repairs.