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Understanding Sports Medicine

Although sports medicine covers the athletic field, it is not confined to this field alone. Injuries resulting from physical activities are treated by this branch of orthopedics. When the ligaments and cartilages of the joints are overused, over-exerted, traumatic collision, or over-extended, then these injuries can occur. Any part of the body can sustain sports injuries. It is in the major joints like the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankles that most sports injuries occur.

A sports injury of the shoulder is the rotator cuff tear. Four different muscles and tendons compose the rotator cuff and is responsible for the movement of the arm at the shoulder. 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. This type of surgery is minimally invasive. Small incisions are made to insert a fiber-optic camera and specializes operating tools. This type of surgery results in successful repair of the rotator cuff with a less painful recover time.

Another common sports injury is a torn ACL which can be treated with sports medicine procedures. 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. When the ACL is torn there is a popping noise and you will not be able to put weight on the knee joint because of the pain 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. Torn ACL can now be repaired through arthroscopic procedures. This technique allows faster recovery time although an athlete will require at least six month before returning to sports.

The cushion or shock absorber between the thigh bone and the shin bone is the meniscus. 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. In a few days, you will experience having a stiff and swollen knee but this will happen gradually. The best non-surgical treatment to meniscal tear is RICE or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If there is a need for surgery, the arthroscopic technic is used.

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