Sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopedics that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries suffered during athletic activity. The goal of treatment is to heal and rehabilitate the injury so patients can return to their favorite activities quickly, whether it's Little League, recreational play or a high school, college or professional sport.
As with a sports team, there are many physicians who work together to help the patient regain maximum use of the injured limb or joint. "Players" on the team are typically the physician, orthopedic surgeon, rehabilitation specialist, athletic trainer and physical therapist - and the patient him/herself.
Common injuries treated include:
- ACL Tears
- Compartment Syndrome
- Heat Exhaustion
- Muscle Contusions (Bruise)
- Muscle Cramps
- Shin Splints
- Sprains & Strains
- Stress Fractures
- Torn Tendons & Ligaments
These injuries often occur as a result of a fall, twisting or hit to a targeted area, as well as from overuse or infection. Different athletic activities may put athletes at an increased risks for certain types of injuries, so it is important to take precautions to prevent injuries from occurring.
Treatment of sports injury depends on the type, severity and location of the injury, and may include conservative methods such as rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications, or surgery for severe injuries. Nearly all patients who suffer from an athletic injury will need physical therapy to restore strength and function to the affected area. Physical therapy uses increasingly difficult exercises to help patients restore their quality of life and return to playing sports.