What is sports medicine?
Sports medicine focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the sports-related injuries that impact both recreational and professional athletes. This field focuses on damage resulting from a single traumatic event, as well as progressive wear-and-tear, which may be an issue for some older athletes or those in high impact sports. Common conditions for treatment include:
- Back Pain and Muscle Cramps
- Meniscal Damage
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries
- Runner's Knee and Shinsplints
- Stress Fractures
In addition, Dr. Lyman and his team also provide support for more general sports-related injuries, such as concussions and fatigue-related discomfort. Based on your specific need, a course of treatment will be recommended, prioritizing a timely and full recovery.
Fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, are found near joints, where bone interacts with tendons and muscles. These cavities provide the lubrication necessary to reduce friction between the structures and provide smooth joint movement. Bursitis is characterized by the inflammation of these sacs, which causes pain, stiffness, and impaired motion.
Common causes of bursitis include rheumatoid arthritis and gout; however, exhaustive overuse and trauma can also contribute to its presence. Your orthopedic surgeon will be able to diagnose the origin of your case, as well as gauge its severity. Typical treatment methods include the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and a physical therapy regimen.
Both located within the knee, the medial and lateral menisci assist in the distribution of weight across your knee joint. These cartilage components are comprised of a tough structural material that conforms to the shape of the aligning bone surface, either the femur or tibia. If meniscal injury occurs, your knee will become uncomfortably imbalanced, potentially leading to progressive damage or early onset arthritis.
Symptoms of a torn meniscus include: pain, swelling, knee popping, and limited motion. In addition, if you find yourself unable to fully extend your knee, this is often due to a piece of the torn cartilage directly blocking the joint mechanism. During initial diagnosis of meniscal damage, your orthopedic surgeon will likely employ either an MRI or x-ray to fully assess the degree of cartilage damage and displacement.
Runner's Knee and Shinsplints
While runner's knee is characterized by pain around the kneecap, shinsplints involve pain along or behind the tibia. In both cases, the conditions are most often caused by over-exertion and repetitively applied force. Athletes who are subject to sudden starts and stops may have an increased likelihood of irritation.
Patients should not underestimate the importance of seeking treatment for these conditions. In some cases, the symptoms of runner's knee or shinsplints can signal a deeper, more serious condition. Your orthopedic surgeon will be able to diagnose the severity of your case, as well as determine the level of medical intervention required for successful, ongoing recovery.
Last Modified: September 14, 2011