Sports Medicine


The goal of sports medicine is to manage and treat sports injuries to keep athletes at peak performance and get them back in the game as safely and as soon as possible. Athletes demand a lot of their bodies, and sports medicine specialists help them to stay in top shape to be able to compete.

Athletes may sustain both acute and overuse injuries during sports activity. Sports medicine physicians will use nonsurgical treatment options whenever possible, but there are surgical options available for patients who do not respond to more conservative treatment.

Acute Injuries

Acute injuries are sudden and usually occur after some type of trauma, such as a fall, tackle, or collision with another player. These are some of the most common acute injuries among athletes.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains often occur due to a sudden fall, twist, or collision. Sprains refer to stretches or tears in the ligaments, the connective tissue that connects the bones together and stabilizes joints. Sprains are graded based on severity, and most often occur in the ankles, knees, and wrists. Strains are similar to sprains, but occur in muscles and/or tendons, the fibrous cords of tissue that attach muscles to the bones. Strains most often occur in the feet, legs, or back, but can occur in other areas of the body as well.

Both sprains and strains can result in pain, swelling, and inflammation in the injured area. Strains may also cause muscle spasms, weakness, or cramping. Both can often be treated with nonsurgical methods, unless there is a complete tear in the muscle, tendon, or ligament.

Fractures

An athlete may break a bone during a traumatic injury like a collision or fall. Fractures can cause pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising at the site of the injury. If the bone is displaced due to the fracture, there may also be deformity in the area. In more severe cases, displaced bone may pierce the skin. Fractures are generally treated with casting, but severe cases may require surgical stabilization.

Ligament and Tendon Tears

In some cases, ligaments or tendons may tear either partially or completely as the result of an acute injury. In athletes, tears often occur in the knees (ACL, PCL, meniscus, patellar and quadriceps tendon), the rotator cuff, Achilles tendon, and elbow. In many cases, surgery is needed to repair the tear and restore stability.

Disclocations

In athletes, dislocations commonly occur in the shoulders, and less commonly in the elbows. The kneecap can also dislocate during high-energy trauma. Generally, dislocations are treated by putting the bones back in place in a process called a closed reduction. There may then be a period of immobilization to allow the injury to heal. However, if the joint continues to be unstable or dislocations recur, surgery may be needed to tighten or repair the ligaments that hold the joint in place.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries occur over time. Some sports require repetitive motions, and this repeated stress on a particular area can eventually develop into an injury. These are some of the most common overuse injuries in athletes.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, often due to chronic overuse. For this reason, it is a common injury among athletes. Common tendon overuse injuries include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis. Tendonitis can usually be treated with nonsurgical methods, especially if treated early on. Failure to receive treatment in the early stages of the injury can lead to a rupture in the tendon, which may require surgery.

Stress Fractures

Our muscles generally absorb the shock from sports activity. However, when the muscles become fatigued, they may be unable to absorb the additional shock. That stress may then be transferred to the bone, eventually causing tiny cracks called stress fractures. Stress fractures are most common in the foot and lower leg. Generally, stress fractures only require a period of rest to allow the bones to heal.

Shoulder Labral Tears

The labrum is thick, tough tissue that lines the rim of the shoulder socket to help stabilize the joint. Repetitive shoulder motions, common among throwing athletes, can eventually cause the labrum to tear. This can result in shoulder instability In some cases, physical therapy may be helpful in restoring shoulder stability, but in more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

Treatment of Sports Injuries in Beaumont, TX

Our skilled physicians use advanced methods in the treatment of sports injuries, using nonsurgical methods whenever possible. Many of the services our patients need, including physical therapy, can be handled on-site. To learn more about sports medicine at Beaumont Bone and Joint Institute, or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at (409) 838-0346 (Beaumont office) or (409) 729-5633 (Mid Country Office).