Posts

What is Sports Medicine?

Whether you’re a teen athlete, a soccer mom, or an adult weekend warrior, it’s good to have an understanding of sports medicine. After all, you never know when you or your child might need it.

As its name implies, sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with both physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of sports and exercise-related injuries.

As you might imagine, sports medicine health care providers have special training, even though sports medicine is not considered a medical specialty in itself. Generally, these physicians are board-certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, or any other specialty, and have received additional training that enables them to help restore function to injured patients as quickly as possible.

Sports medicine providers also have knowledge about the prevention of illness and injury in physically active people. Not only do they work with professional athletes, but also treat children and teenagers involved in sports, as well as adults who exercise for personal fitness. In addition, sports medicine providers treat those who have physically demanding occupations, such as construction workers, mechanics, first responders, dancers, and more.

Many, though not all, sports medicine health care providers have surgical training, practicing as orthopedic surgeons. However, sports medicine also relies on the professional expertise of other health care providers. These include:

·       Physical therapists, who help patients rehabilitate and recover from their sports and exercise-related injuries

·       Certified athletic trainers, who provide the rehabilitative exercise routines that help patients regain their strength and, also, develop conditioning programs to help patients prevent future injury

·       Nutritionists, who provide dietary advice and assist those who need to lose or gain weight in order to improve their physical functioning

Among the common injuries that a sports medicine health care provider would treat include:

·       A sprained ankle

·       Knee and shoulder injuries

·       Fractures

·      Tendonitis (tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, swimmer’s shoulder)

·       Exercise-induced asthma

·       Cartilage injuries

·       Concussions

·       Heat-related illness (cramps, exhaustion, fainting spells, heat stroke)

When to consult a sports medicine specialist

If you or your child is seriously injured while exercising or participating in a sports activity, it might be best to seek immediate treatment at a nearby emergency room depending on the severity of the injury. Symptoms of a significant injury include major pain, swelling, numbness, and/or the inability to place weight on the injured area.

If none of these symptoms are apparent, rest, icing, compression, and elevation (RICE treatment) may help alleviate your pain. If the injury doesn’t heal soon after, call your health care provider for guidance and/or referral to a sports medicine specialist.

If you are diagnosed with a moderate to severe sports injury, treatment may include keeping the injured area immobilized with a cast or sling. In more severe cases involving torn tissue or misaligned bones, a surgical procedure may be needed, although most sport injuries do not require surgery.

The Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs regularly treats injuries to bones and joints, providing the best of care. If you’ve sustained a sports injury, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will diagnose the condition and explain your treatment options. Call us at (719) 623-1050 today for an appointment.

The Most Common Sports Injuries by Season

There’s a sport for every season – and an injury for every sport.

Every year, an estimated 2 million sports injuries result in approximately 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations.  And that’s not even counting professional athletes, adult weekend warriors and other sports enthusiasts prone to injuries!

As long as sports involve vigorous physical activity and contact, common injuries will occur. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries for some of the most common sports by season.

Most Common Injuries for Fall and Winter Sports

Football is one of America’s most popular sports, both as a spectator and a participant. Perhaps the ultimate contact sport, it can take quite a toll on a player’s body. Much has been debated recently about head injuries and concussions. However, traumatic knee and ankle injuries are extremely common on the gridiron.

Ice hockey can be just as brutal on the upper body. Whether slamming against headboards, falling on the ice, or getting into fistfights with opposing players – and despite the use of protective padding – hockey players frequently sustain shoulder, wrist, dental and head injuries. Shoulder injuries often include broken clavicles and acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation, while wrist injuries usually include sprains and fractures.

Most Common Injuries for Spring and Summer Sports

Although baseball and softball are not considered contact sports, they do involve a lot of running, throwing, catching, and pivoting, all of which can result in knee, leg, arms, and shoulder joint problems. For example, a baseball pitcher who specializes in fast balls can suffer a rotator cuff injury, tearing shoulder tendon tissue. Other players may suffer hamstring muscle injuries, sprained ankles or shin splints run around the bases or on the field. And who can deny that sliding into home – or another player for that matter – doesn’t classify as contact?

Many of the same leg injuries occur during soccer games, affecting adolescent players as well as adult athletes. You can add Jones fractures (of the bone on the outside side of the foot beneath the little toe) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which is the ligament in the center of the knee, to the list. Plus, heading the ball over time puts an athlete at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in those who have a history of repetitive brain trauma.

With swimming, injuries tend to result from the overuse of one’s joints and muscles. Shoulder injuries are common, as is breaststroker’s knee, which can become painfully inflamed. 

All-season Sports

Year-round indoor/outdoor sports like basketball and volley tend to create frequent cases of meniscus tears. This is a common “court” injury in which forceful twisting results in the tearing of certain knee tissue. Jumping to slam dunk a basket, block a shot, snatch a rebound can lead to patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee), in which the tendon attaching the kneecap to the shinbone can be torn.

Meanwhile, a heated game of tennis can result in any number of injuries including ankle sprains, rotator cuff tears, stress fractures, and – yes – tennis elbow, the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to outside of the elbow.

Whatever the season, there is the risk of injury while participating in your favorite sport. If or when it happens, it’s important that you get the proper and prompt medical attention of a specialist trained in sports medicine.

The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions including sports injuries. We look to non-invasive methods first before resorting to surgery. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Should I See a Sports Medicine Specialist?

Any medical condition that does not improve with appropriate measures while compromising daily activities requires attention. Making the right choice of physician, whether family practice doctor or specialist, is an important decision in dealing with any illness or injury.

Participating in sports often causes aches and pains or an injury that needs proper diagnosis and treatment. A sports medicine specialist has medical education and training in family, internal, emergency, or rehabilitation medicine, and has pursued additional sports medicine training.

Sports medicine specialists center their therapies on bone, joint, and muscle care. They understand an athlete’s goals and focus on improving athletic performance, recovery from injury, maintaining peak physical fitness, and preventing future injuries. A sports medicine specialist can be a physician, surgeon, or another type of specialist, like a nutritionist or physical therapist. Primary care sports medicine physicians are specially trained for the total care of athletes and active individuals.

Who Should See a Sports Medicine Specialist

People injured while playing sports may see their family practice doctor to have an injury evaluated. At this point, their treatment approach will probably be the same as might be provided by a sports medicine specialist: RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories if needed.

If there is no improvement within a couple weeks, an MRI may be ordered for further evaluation. At this point, you may be referred to a specialist, for their expertise in determining the most appropriate treatment based on the specifics of the injury.

Sports medicine specialists treat acute and chronic injuries – and focus on helping patients prevent future injuries while enhancing their athletic performance through safe strength training, conditioning exercises, and workouts. They evaluate the need for surgery and apply sports psychology principles and therapies.

Injuries treated by sports medicine specialists include:

  • Concussions
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Joint injuries
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Overuse and Training Injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Care provided by these specialists may include preseason examinations and “return to play” recommendations as a part of a rehabilitation plan.

Types of Sports Medicine Specialists

There are a wide variety of sports medicine specialists available to treat a variety of concerns, including:

Certified Athletic Trainers are skilled professionals who work exclusively with athletes. They help decide which injuries require specialist attention and can make necessary referrals.

Orthopedists & Orthopedic Surgeons focus on bone and joint problems. They have several years of residency and fellowships beyond their internships. Approximately 90 percent of sports injuries are nonsurgical in nature. When surgery is required, orthopedic surgeons specialize in areas such as back surgery, joint replacement, and ACL repairs.

Physical Therapists treat injuries based on a clinical diagnosis. They often specialize in sports medicine and orthopedics. They integrate training, rehabilitation and injury recovery.

Podiatrists are clinicians with residency training focused on musculoskeletal problems exclusively below the knee. Their clients are runners, joggers, or sports people who often injure their feet or ankles. Biomechanical analysis, normal gait assessment, and prescribing orthotics are their other areas of expertise.

Improving with Sports Medicine

Whether you’re a novice to athletics or want to get to the next performance level, a sports medicine specialist can formulate a comprehensive blueprint that can take you to the peak of athletic performance.

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence has served as official doctors for the U.S. Olympic team, as well as nonprofessional sports patients. For award-winning orthopedic and sports medicine treatment, visit The Center online at www.ccoe.us or call (719) 623-1050.

When You Should Go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care

Every year, millions of Americans sustain an orthopedic (musculoskeletal) injury either at home, on the job, in their cars (in accidents), or while competing in their favorite sport. Their injuries can range from minor to serious to life-threatening, involving everything from a sprain or strain to a broken bone or a torn ligament.

Regardless of the severity of the injury, our first instinct is usually to rush to the nearest emergency room (ER) or urgent care center, especially if our primary doctor is unavailable.

Often, visiting an ER or a regular urgent care center means waiting a long time to see a doctor. And when you finally do, the doctor can end up referring you to an orthopedic surgeon, which could result in having to wait even longer to see the right specialist for your condition.

In addition, a regular urgent care facility may not have the right equipment to diagnose your acute injury or do the best job of stabilizing the injured body part. And to add inconvenience to injury, a trip to the ER can be very expensive.

Why Should I Go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic?

Our orthopedic urgent care clinic in Colorado Springs provides service during convenient business hours and helps patients with a wide variety of orthopedic/musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses. You can simply walk in and receive specialized care.

Not only does orthopedic urgent care increase your access to quality healthcare exclusively focused on orthopedic conditions and injuries, but it also decreases costly emergency room visits. This is beneficial not only for patients but also for overloaded emergency departments which can then focus their efforts on more immediate health problems.

Specialized Care for Sports Injuries and Other Orthopedic Issues

Research indicates that about one in six visits to an urgent care center involves some sort of musculoskeletal injury – and nearly 70 percent of the time, these patients end up being referred to an orthopedist. Not only does this delay treatment, but it can cost the patient twice as much.

Unlike a general urgent care center, an orthopedic urgent care clinic is designed to provide swift, cost-effective, specialized quality care. That means you have prompt access to the right specialist and can start your treatment and recovery right then and there.

Orthopedic urgent care clinics are staffed with board-certified or fellowship-trained experts in orthopedic medicine who can diagnose and treat any injuries or conditions affecting your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, tissue, or cartilage.

In the event that an orthopedist is not available, an orthopedic urgent care clinic has highly skilled and trained physician’s assistants (PAs) on hand to attend to your needs. These PAs have specialized training in the field of orthopedics as well as years of experience in diagnosing and treating most orthopedic conditions. These clinics also have the specialized equipment required to handle practically any orthopedic problem on the spot.

Contact Your Local Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic Today

Recognizing the need for our patients to always have access to immediate care for orthopedic and sports-related injuries, the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence recently opened its own orthopedic urgent care and sports medicine clinic. Our goal is to always find a way to provide our patients with access to high-quality, comprehensive orthopedic care, in addition to (non-operative) primary care sports medicine on an urgent care basis.

We understand the importance of primary care physicians and the overall health and wellness of each individual patient. Our clinic is not intended to replace this relationship between patient and primary care physician, but to offer a convenient option when the patient needs care quickly and in a more cost-effective manner. Therefore, our sports medicine specialist, Dr. Jarrod Harrall, collaborates with our orthopedic surgeons and staff to provide our patients with world-class care and service.

To learn more about the benefits of orthopedic urgent care, and what ours has to offer, call Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 or fill out our online appointment form, or call our Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Urgent Care center at (719) 394-4800 today

Sports Medicine: Keeping You in the Game

People with active lifestyles are often at increased risk for sports-related injuries. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists can properly diagnose all athletic injuries and provide treatments that restore a more pain-free condition. The Sports Medicine “team” is made up of individuals from a variety of fields such as orthopedic surgery, primary care medicine, athletic training, physical therapy, and nutrition.

Sports medicine doctors have special training to restore function to injured patients so they can get moving again as soon as possible. They are also knowledgeable about preventing illness and injury in active people. Although sports medicine doctors do work with professional athletes, they also treat children and teens involved in sports, and adults who exercise for personal fitness, as well as people who have physically demanding jobs.

Reasons to see a sports medicine specialist:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Heat illness
  • Concussions
  • Eating disorders
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Proper injury recovery
In addition, sports medicine doctors can provide advice on nutrition, supplements, exercise and strength training, and injury prevention.

Our experts at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence strive to prevent and treat injuries in physically active individuals. If your child sustains an injury during exercise, sports participation, or any type of physical activity, you may be advised to see a sports medicine doctor for treatment.

Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. We utilize cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods to eliminate pain and improve range of motion, so the next time you throw the ball, dunk a basket, or run toward the finish line, you will feel just as good or better than you did before your injury occurred.

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete, our Colorado Springs orthopedic doctors give the best care possible. Request an appointment today with one of our specialists today by calling (719) 623-1050 or you can request one online.

Could Your Sports Career Lead to Knee Pain?

The knee is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, all working as one. The knee sits in the middle of three bones: the tibia (your shinbone), the femur (your thighbone), and the patella (the kneecap). The patella is a flat, round bone that protects the knee joint. Your knees provide stability and allow your legs to bend, swivel, and straighten. Due to their intricacies, the hip and knee joints are the least stable in the body, susceptible to accelerated aging, deterioration, strain, and repetitive injuries. If the knee becomes injured, it can be due to many different things, but your sports career is a common one. Some sports may take more of a toll on the knees than others, such as distance running and basketball, while others tend to present more opportunities for impact, such as football or soccer.

If you are an athlete, and have ever sat on the sidelines with a knee injury, you probably appreciate more than ever, about how your knees have powered you through various sports and activities: kicking, jumping, running, and pivoting. Sport injuries can affect almost any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments).

Although a knee problem is often caused by an injury to one or more of these structures, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. In other words, all those working parts mean there are bunches of ways to injure a knee. Many jobs, sports and recreation activities, getting older, or having a disease such as osteoporosis or arthritis increase your chances of having problems with your knees.  Common causes for injuries are overuse from repetitive motions, sudden stops or twists, or direct blows to the knee. To avoid knee injuries, it helps to understand how your knees work and what you can do to protect them.

Common knee injuries due to sports:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Meniscus Tears (ACL, MCL)
  • Fractures and Dislocations

When overuse damage, orthopedic trauma, or sports injuries occur, it can be devastating to your game, your workouts, your physical health, and your mental health. That is why the sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence work just as hard as you play your game to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and world-class care. Our goal is to return you to play as quickly as possible, while preventing re-injury and improving your body’s response to stress. 

Whether you are an amateur or professional athlete who is experiencing knee pain, our sports medicine specialists at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence can help. Call our office at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment, or you can request one online.