Sports medicine is a specialty within orthopaedics that focuses on the treatment and preventions of athletic injuries. Athletic injuries often affect the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, joints, and soft tissues. Although sports medicine specialists treat athletes, they also treat patients whose injuries did not occur during athletic activity. The goal of sports medicine is to diagnose and treat these injuries to help patients recover quickly and safely.
Sports Injuries Of The Musculoskeletal System
Sports injuries may be acute injuries, or they may be the result of overuse. Acute injuries are often the result of trauma, such as a fall or collision with another player. Common acute injuries include fractures, sprains, and strains. Sprains refer to a partial or complete tear of a ligament, while strains refer to a partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon.
Overuse injuries in athletes occur over time. Athletes often have to repeat the same motions during play, and the body may not have time to recover in between. Overuse injuries are also common in patients whose jobs require repetitive motions. Common overuse injuries in athletes include ligament injuries and stress fractures.
Treatment Of Sports Injuries
Although orthopaedic surgeons are trained in surgical procedures of the musculoskeletal system, they also provide nonsurgical treatment options for athletes. Nonsurgical treatment may include medication and physical therapy.
If surgery is necessary, orthopaedic surgeons can perform many procedures without the need for a hospital stay. Advancements in surgical techniques have allowed for quicker recovery times for many sports medicine procedures, which allows post-surgery rehabilitation to begin more quickly.