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A Guide to Sports Medicine

It is not only the athletic field that sports medicine covers. This branch of orthopedics treats injures resulting from physical activities. They can occur due to overuse, over-exertion, traumatic collision, or over-extension of the ligaments and cartilage of the joints. You can have sports injury in any part of your body. Most of the sports injuries happen in the major joints like the shoulders, hip, knee, and ankles.

Your shoulder can sustain a sports injury which is the rotator cuff tear. It is the rotator cuff that enables the arm to move at the shoulder and it is composed on four different muscles and tendons. If traumatic impact, repetitive motion or a strong pull tears these muscles, then it could be very painful and will result in the loss of shoulder mobility.

There are surgical and non-surgical methods that can help repair a rotator cuff tear but it is based on the severity of the injury. If non-surgical efforts cannot relieve the pain and surgery is required, rotator cuff tears can be repaired through arthroscopic techniques. Arthroscopic surgery is only minimally invasive. It involves two small incisions for the insertion of a fiber-optic camera and specialized operating tools. With this surgery the rotator cuff tear will be repaired and the recovery time is less painful.

Repair of the ACL located within the knee is another common sports medicine procedure. The rotational stability of the knee is provided by the ACL. Tears to the ligament occurs due to over rotation, sudden changes in direction, landing incorrectly, or traumatic collision. When there is over rotation, sudden changes in direction, landing incorrectly or traumatic collision, the ligaments tear. You will hear a popping noise when the ACL tears and you won’t be able to put weight on your knee joint since it will be painful and swelling.

Non-surgical treatment options are available after an ACL tear Torn ACL, however, will not heal on its own and surgery is necessary to return to an active lifestyle. Arthroscopic procedures can be used to repair torn ACL. This technique allows faster recovery time although an athlete will require at least six month before returning to sports.

The meniscus lies between the thigh bone and the shinbone and acts as a cushion or shock absorber between the two bones. When there is excess stress on the knee joint from traumatic collision, squatting, or over rotation, the meniscus tears and accompanies other keen injuries like the ACL tear.

After a meniscal tear, you can still walk and athletes may continue to play through the injury. But the knee will gradually become stiffer and more swollen over a period of a few days. Non-surgical approaches to treatment include the RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – protocol. Arthroscopic technique is used if there is need for surgery.

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