Common Sports Injuries and Conditions
Athletes put their bodies through a lot, so it’s almost expected that they will suffer an injury at some point in their playing career. Those injuries can range from mild sprains to serious ligament injuries. The goal for the physicians of Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint is to treat the athlete as conservatively as possible, while focusing on a return to pre-injury activity levels. We treat a wide variety of sports related injuries, including:
• Ligament injuries, such as ACL and MCL
• Bone breaks, including growth plate fractures
• Knee or hip pain
• Joint dislocations
• Overuse injuries
• Meniscal repair
• Acute injuries, such as fractures
Our physicians also understand the difference between pediatric and adult sports injuries and how each need to be treated. Pediatric injuries can often require different treatments from adult injuries, due to the presence of growth plates. Our doctors know how to treat your child’s specific injury.
Injury Prevention Tools
Before you start a team sport, it’s recommended that you assess your current physical ability. Maintaining a healthy level of fitness and activity is a good place to start. For new participants, gradually increasing your activity level is a safe way to get the endurance and strength you need for a team sport.
Pre-season physicals are also important to ensure your body is ready for the rigors of a team sport. Warm-ups and cool-downs when playing will stretch muscles and get them ready for activity. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury.
Proper hydration will also keep you healthy when exercising. Without adequate hydration, your body cannot cool down enough. The AAOS recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid two hours before exercise. Drinking an additional eight ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise is also helpful. While you are exercising, break for an eight ounce cup of water every 20 minutes.
Wearing the Correct Protective Equipment
Each sport requires its own protective equipment, from special padding to shoes to mouth guards. Equipment that fits properly and protects the intended areas are simple additions to help save you from an injury. While this equipment can often be expensive, some leagues require its use before you can participate.
Returning to the Sport After Injury
Depending on the injury, a player can be sidelined for an indefinite amount of time. But even if it’s a minor problem, you should give yourself time to fully recuperate to avoid a recurrence of the injury down the road. First aid should be administered at the time of the injury and if necessary, medical personnel should be called for more serious injuries such as concussion, fracture, dislocation, or a sprain. For those more serious injuries, working with a physical therapist can help preserve strength and motion with the affected area. Only after you are able to practice without pain or difficulty should you attempt to get back into the sport.