Head, Shoulders, Knees and...Ouch!
for athletes of all
ages and abilities
Offering comprehensive services ranging from expert diagnosis and treatment of sports and activity-related injuries, to injury prevention, and sports-health education, Sports Care services are provided by specialized physicians and surgeons who understand the needs of athletes and active patients. Physicians are board certified and fellowship trained sports medicine specialists with experience caring for amateur, college and professional athletes.
The Sports Care program features:
- Sports injury rehabilitation, physical therapy and sports conditioning provided by certified, experienced physical therapists and athletic trainers
- Care for sports-related medical conditions and sports nutrition
- State-of-the-art diagnostics including filmless, digital x-ray and MRI
To learn more about Sports Care or for information about making a Sports Care appointment, call:
1-877 ST FRANCIS
Being physically active is good for you, but it is possible to injure yourself while pursuing your favorite sport. Overuse or overdoing are the most common causes of sports-related injuries. Some muscle soreness is usually nothing to worry about. But if you experience severe pain related to your sports activities, or if you have symptoms that are persistent and consistent, we recommend that you see your doctor.
A frequently seen sports injury is a stress fracture, which can be so small that it may only be detected through a bone scan or MRI. Pain usually develops with activity and lessens with rest. While stress fractures can occur in just about any bone in the body, they are most frequently seen in the legs. Runners are especially vulnerable.
Treatment usually is conservative, with runners discontinuing their normal activities for six to twelve weeks while crosstraining in another sport, such as swimming, to maintain cardiovascular health.
Given a chance, stress fractures usually heal themselves. However, failure to treat a stress fracture appropriately could result in the bone fracturing completely, requiring casting or even surgery.
As every athlete knows, a strong, healthy knee is crucial to optimum performance. The knee is composed of several ligaments, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the meniscal ligaments. Damage to these ligaments are among the most common sports-related injuries that orthopedic surgeons treat.
Treatment for ACL and severe meniscal tears usually require surgery At Saint Francis, our orthopedic surgeons are trained in state-of-the-art procedures, such as arthroscopy and ligament transplantation. These treatments often mean smaller scars, less pain and a shorter recovery time. Treatment for less severe mensical injuries may be as simple as application of ice or use of anti-inflammatory medications. However, for people who participate in sports-related activities, doctors may recommend surgery for all meniscal tears.
Another commonly seen injury is “tennis elbow,” an irritation of a tendon on the outside of the elbow that moves the wrist up and down. Tennis elbow may be caused by improper equipment, among other reasons. It can result from using a racquet with a head size that is too small and too small a ‘sweet spot;’ which can contribute to an improperly executed backhand, leading to a torn tendon.
Treatment for tennis elbow is usually conservative: ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes an arm brace and cortisone injections are required.
Golfers can develop their own form of tennis elbow in which the side of the elbow closest to the chest is affected.
Baseball players also place tremendous stress on their elbow while throwing the ball. This stress sometimes leads to injury. In the past, these were often considered to be career-ending injuries.
The “Tommy John” surgery, named for the first professional baseball player to have the surgery performed, involves transferring a tendon from another part of the body, usually near the wrist, to replace the torn ligament in the elbow. Following surgery, the elbow can, once again, resist the tremendous stresses that it encounters during the throwing motion. This operation enabled Tommy John to resume his career.
Major League players aren’t the only ones to face elbow injuries. For example, a condition called “Little Leaguer’s elbow” involves repetitive trauma to the growth plates that can cause pain and limit the ability of young baseball players to ir y to function in their sport.
Treatment for this condition generally is rest until the pain subsides. It is important that young players learn the proper mechanics of the throwing motion, so that when they return to their sport they don’t re-injure their developing shoulders and elbows.
Rotator Cuff Tears
Golfers have another injury in common with other athletes: rotator cuff tears. Rotator cuff injuries are often the result of playing sports that require repetitive use of the shoulder, such as tennis, golf, baseball or lifting weights. Physicians at Saint Francis perform arthroscopic repair, which results in less pain and stiffness, less scarring and fewer complications. Learn more about rotator cuff repair...