Sports Medicine Experts of Austin
Accidents, overuse, and forgetting to stretch or warm up before a sport or physical activity can all lead to sports injuries.
what is sports medicine?
Sports Injuries Can Happen to Anyone
Sports medicine is a field of health care that treats injuries that occur during sports and other physical activities. These types of injuries are more common in children and young adults. In fact, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 and younger experience a sports injury annually. Austin Orthopedic Institute provides comprehensive care for all types of injuries that affect the bones, joints, and soft tissues.
When is it Time to See a Specialist?
If you experience intense pain, swelling, or other severe symptoms immediately after a traumatic injury, seek emergency medical care right away.
For non-emergency injuries, it is time to come see us any time you have pain that lasts longer than a few days or grows worse despite attempts at self-care. Without treatment, sports injuries that develop slowly usually worsen over time and may lead to a chronic (long-term) injury. Give us a call or fill out our form to schedule an appointment!
Diagnosis & Treatment
First, your overall health is assessed, including reviewing your symptoms and medical history. Having listened to thousands of patients tell their stories, providers at Austin Orthopedic Institute can often make your diagnosis on this basis alone. Tests may also be taken to confirm your diagnosis, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
Conservative treatment recommendations may include:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol)
- Immobilization in a cast or splint
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. ibuprofen)
- Oral steroids
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
Sports Medicine Treatment Options
Targeted Physical Therapy
In cases of sports injuries, sometimes the issue is not a specific structure in the body – rather, the “machinery” or system is not working together properly. This is where reconditioning muscles with sports-specific therapy comes in. This practice works to “recalibrate” the system, retraining neurological connections and synchronizing muscles and movements better.
Steroid injections can be a controversial topic in the sports medicine world. With improper use, they certainly can put patients at risk of worse injury. However, when properly utilized, there is little question that judicious use of injectable steroids can be extremely helpful, even curative, for the right patient.
This being said, there are certain areas that should never be injected (like the Achilles tendon) while others frequently benefit (such as for shoulder bursitis). Other injection options like PRP and stem cells may also play a role in treatment.
Of course, surgery should always be a last resort – however, sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Some injuries simply won’t heal themselves (ACL tears) and others, like shoulder dislocations, will keep repeating until some type of surgery is performed.
Austin Orthopedic Institute providers have extensive experience and training in treating sports injuries. They will provide everything from straightforward arthroscopy to complex ligament reconstruction, using minimally invasive arthroscopy whenever possible.