People often connect sports injuries to the damages that occur while a sport. Yes, it does related to sports but any physically active person can get a sports injury while workout or exercising. Moreover, an occupation that involves repetitive motion such as carpentry, painting walls, plumbing etc. also puts you at risk of attaining such damages. Surgeons for sports injuries such as Dr MA Wajid, a well-reputed orthopedic surgeon in Lahore, explain that sports injuries are classified into two broad categories i.e. acute and chronic. Acute is a sudden injury while chronic injury develops gradually over time and is hence riskier. Dr MA Wjid is proficient to address any sports injury whether it occurs to soft tissues or bones, he uses modern means of treatment including arthroscopic surgery to diagnose and make surgical repairs. Further, he can also facilitate patients needing joint replacement surgery with the use of advanced technology and implant prosthesis that ensure longevity.
What increases the risk of sports injuries?
The risk of attaining sports injury can be associated with multiple reasons. These may comprise:
- Overweight body
- Not wearing protective gadgets while a workout or any sports activity.
- Ignoring warm-up exercise before main sports or workouts.
- Participating in contact sports with increased chances of collisions
- Involvement in sports comprising jumping, pivoting, running, or abrupt change in direction.
- Wrong posture
- Overuse of muscles or joints
- Abrupt increase in the intensity of exercise
- Fail to follow guided techniques
- Age is also a factor as middle age or old people are more prone to sports injuries
Body parts that are often subject to sports injury
As per an orthopedic doctor, any part of the body could be subject to sports injuries but most commonly it occurs to the elbow, shoulder, knees, ankles, and head.
The elbow joint connects the lower arm to the upper arm and works as a hinge joint. Repeated motion or overuse of the elbow could lead to joint pain. The tennis elbow is one of the sports injuries that induces pain around the outer part of the elbow. It occurs due to overuse of forearm muscles.
Upper body limbs i.e. our arms are connected to the body trunk through the shoulder joint. It comprises various group of muscles, tendons, and rotator cuff that ensures joint stability and aid in motion. Most often rotator cuff tear or tendinitis happens due to a sports injury.
The knee is also a hinge joint that links the upper leg to the lower leg. It’s a complex structure formed of cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Knee pain could be because of many underlying concerns such as the runner’s knee, meniscus tear, or ACL tears.
The ankle joins our foot to the leg and is composed of three joints that are stabilized through muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The cartilage covering the bone ends provides a frictionless surface to glide. Ankle sprains are the most encountered sports injuries as described by surgeons for sports injuries.
The head consists of a skull, brain, and face. A concussion is a common sports injury that occurs to the head. A sudden jerk shakes the brain within the skull damaging soft tissues that hold a brain in place.
- Achilles tendon
It’s a strong band of tendons connecting the heel to the back of the lower leg. This tendon assists you in walking and may get a tear and induce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Leg feels stiff causing a condition known as Achilles tendinitis, a common sports injury among athletes.
Some sports injuries to take into account
Surgeons for sports injuries can handle various types of sports injuries some common ones include:
In contact sports, there is an increased risk of bone fractures. A sudden hit or blow to the bone specifically to the legs, arms, and feet bones such as in football and basketball may break a bone. It induces severe pain that immediately needs medical attention to be corrected either through immobilization by applying a plaster cast or via surgery.
- Cartilage tears
The cartilage covering the bone ends prevents bones from rubbing with each other when a joint is moved. Damage or tear to the cartilage like that of the shoulder or knee induces severe pain.
- Joint dislocation
The most common case handled by an orthopedic doctor is dislocation. It is when the bone-forming joint moves from its fixed position. Shoulder joint dislocations are encountered most often by athletes or by a person with an occupation that involves the use of the shoulder joint most frequently
Strains are also common among physically active people as they are using so many muscles which may be over-stretched, torn, or moved in the wrong way causing strains. Abdominal strain, hamstring strain, and back strain are some examples of sports injuries due to muscle strains.
Sprains damage the ligaments when they are stretched beyond the limit. They may get tears, inducing pain and causing joint instability. Sprains range from mild to severe, where mild ones get better on their own while severe ones need surgical management. Ankle, knee, and wrist sprains are the most common sports injuries.
Tendinitis is the inflammation of tendons, it causes them to swell and make joints painful. Repetitive motion for a longer span is the reason behind this sort of sports injury for example patellar tendonitis.
A sudden hit to the head shakes the brain inside the skull. This may happen in sports such as football when the ball accidentally hit a player’s head. Headache, sleepiness, dizziness, vomiting, and in some cases loss of consciousness are the symptoms.
- ACL tears
The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a strong band of tissues found in the knee joint and connects the femur to the tibia. It may get sprain or tears due to an injury. Sports or physical activity that involve a rapid change in direction, jumping, landing over a hard surface, or abrupt stops, cause such injury. Players of basketball, soccer, downhill skiing or football are more prone to such sports injuries. According to surgeons for sports injuries symptoms such as swelling, instability of the joint, and pain while putting weight over the knee are seen among such cases.
- Tennis elbow
Injury to the ligaments in the elbow joint because of repetitive joint motion or overuse lead to this condition. Golf and tennis players are more probable to get such injuries.
- Plantar fasciitis
A thick band of muscles running beneath the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes is called a plantar fascia. An inflammation of this brings about a condition called plantar fasciitis which is usually found among runners, soccer or basketball players, or joggers. It induces a sharp pain that mostly occurs in the morning when you take your first step after an overnight sleep. The pain gradually decreases with movement but reappears after prolonged standing. Overweight people may also be subject to this inflammation.
- Groin pull
Groin pull happens when the inner thigh muscle is stretched, damaged, or torn. Pain is felt in the leg but gets better after proper treatment.
- Shin splints
With the shin splints inner side of the tibia also known as the shinbone becomes sore and painful. The area around the bone felt tender and swelling is develop in the lower leg. Pain may disappear when you stop exercising but may also enhance slowly leading to stress fractures.
Symptoms to notice
Symptoms are adhered to the severity of the injury occur. Common signs include:
- Tenderness and swelling
- Joint may deform due to bone displacement
- Limited range of motion
- Clicking, popping, grinding sensation in the affected joint
- A patient will be unable to put weight over the affected joint specifically if the hip, knee, or foot joint is injured
- The injured part will feel warm
- Joint become stiff
- Weakness in the joint
Diagnostic tests for evaluation
When you reach an orthopedic doctor for consultation, he gives a physical examination to see visible symptoms like swelling, redness, wounds, bruises, tenderness etc. range of joint motion is assessed through assisted and non-assisted movement. Medical history and reason for injury are explored by questioning the patient. For a more detailed diagnosis, which is made through internal examination, the orthopedic doctor orders several imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI, or CT-scan. Visuals obtained unveil the internal matter and help a doctor to reach the exact cause to plan the most effective treatment strategy. Certain laboratory tests may also be conceived to rule out other possible reasons.
It can be cured this way
After a thorough diagnosis, an orthopedic doctor helps you to heal through the most effective treatment plan. It comprises:
- Immediate immobilization with a plaster cast, sling, splint, brace, or any other device. This will provide rest to the injured part and ensure healing in the correct alignment.
- Certain medications are prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Therapeutic injections may also be inoculated to reduce pain and swelling.
- Under severe conditions when no other plan works, surgery is considered to correct issues such as bone fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue tears.
- To strengthen weak joints and muscles physical therapy is advised which is performed under the guidance of a physical therapist. It helps boost the healing procedure enabling the patient to return to activities soon.
Guidance for self-care
Surgeons for sports injuries suggest some self-care tips to take care of your mild injuries at home. RICE therapy helps to manage symptoms and enhance the healing process.
- Rest: Give complete rest to the injured part for a couple of days as suggested by your orthopedic doctor. Try not to put weight over the lower body if it is subject to injury.
- Ice: To lessen inflammation, pain and swelling apply cold packs over the injury and keep it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Compression: it is to provide support by wrapping an elastic bandage around the injured joint. This reduces swelling but doesn’t enfold too tight as it may block blood circulation arising other complications. Follow the instructions of your orthopedic doctor.
- Elevation: Rise the injured joint above the heart level, it helps reduce swelling and manage pain. The pillow can be used under injured joints for elevation.
You can protect yourself from sports injuries in certain ways.
- Avoid sports that are too dangerous for you.
- Try to play different sports the whole year, and avoid keep on playing the same sports for longer.
- Make a combination of exercises such as cardiovascular exercises, strengthening exercises, and stretching exercises to increase flexibility.
- Keep yourself hydrated with good consumption of water before and after physical activity, even in between.
- Work out or play with proper technique as guided by your trainer. Poor techniques could stress out your muscles and bones giving way to sports injuries.
- Exertion is not good, work within your stamina. Give your body rest when tired and start again if needed after a break. Do not indulge yourself in activities that put unusual stress on joints.
- Gradually increase the intensity of the workout, beginning with a light one and then slowly building up to hard ones but according to the instructions of your trainer.
- Warm up the body, and do stretching exercises before heading towards main sports or exercise. When you are done cool down your body gradually.
- Wear safety gadgets and well-fitted shoes to avoid any mishaps.
When it is urgent to consult an orthopedic doctor?
Get medical assistance right away when:
- Pain hinders your movement and doesn’t improve with time.
- Swelling over the injured part is immense and doesn’t lessen gradually.
- There are bruises and cut that bleeds.
- The Joint is deformed.
It is worthwhile to note
Exercise is essential for joint and muscle health but must be done properly under the guidance of an expert so he can solve the issue timely. Be cautious and seek medical assistance under severe conditions as surgeons for sports injuries know your musculoskeletal health right. They work in coordination with other experts such as physical therapists to ensure a quick recovery. Work on minute issues to wipe out the issue from its root.