Maybe you had the best of intentions when going for that first outdoor run of the warm season, but, after 20 minutes realize that your ankle is swelling to the size of Texas. Or, maybe after a tennis match, your shoulder is stiff and painful. These scenarios and others like them can have you wondering: Could I have a sports injury?
The answer could be yes, depending on the cause of your injury and resulting symptoms. Sports injuries are as common as they are frustrating! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.6 million sports and recreation-related injuries are reported annually.
The key to successfully healing from a sports injury is early intervention and proper diagnosis. At EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region, we have an entire team of board-certified doctors who specialize in Sports Medicine. Our physicians utilize a multidisciplinary approach, combined with the most advanced treatment methods to help athletes and other active individuals Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.
Diagnosing Common Sports Injuries
There are several causes of sports injuries. Anything from propelling yourself full throttle into a sport without warming up to improper sports gear, or not being in shape, can result in an injury. Many sports-related injuries are divided into two categories:
- Acute Injuries
A fall, twist, direct blow or other type of sudden trauma damages an area of the body.
- Overuse Injuries
Over time, areas of the body are subjected to repeated stress and do not have time to heal properly. Soft tissues such as tendinitis and bursitis are examples of overuse injuries.
In addition to soft tissue sports injuries such as tendinitis, bursitis, sprains, and strains, athletes and active people can experience injury to the bone, such as stress fractures.
Sports injuries affecting the ligaments, muscles, and tendons (soft tissues) and bones can happen anywhere on the body, but most commonly occur to the:
The degree of damage to these areas can be heavily influenced by a person’s age, activity level, lifestyle, and other factors.
To help determine the type of sports injury a patient has experienced, an orthopedic doctor will examine the area and go over any symptoms. Sports injury symptoms can include:
- Sudden pain for acute injuries
- Dull, often continuous pain for overuse/chronic injuries
- Pain that intensifies with activity
- Dislocated joint (visible to the eye)
- Difficulty bearing weight on the injured foot, ankle, leg and/or knee
- Problems with range of motion
In addition to evaluating any symptoms you may have, your doctor will perform a physical examination and potentially order diagnostic imaging scans such as:
- CT Scan
Diagnostic imaging can further pinpoint the location and severity of a sports injury, as well as the presence of any additional injuries.
EmergeOrtho Precision Diagnosis
The benefit of consulting with an EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region Sports Medicine Doctor is having the expertise and state-of-the-art technology for precision diagnosis. Some of the sports-related conditions addressed by our specialists include:
- Rotator Cuff Tears
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Mallet Finger
- Ligament Tears
- Joint Dislocations
- Achilles Tendon Ruptures
- Ankle Sprains
- Cruciate Ligament Injuries
- Hip Labral Injuries
Whether you have an acute or overuse injury, it is important to seek the expertise of an orthopedic physician. Again, the earlier you can address a sports injury, the quicker a diagnosis can be established. Once your Triangle Region Doctor provides a diagnosis, a personalized treatment plan will be created—be sure to stay tuned for follow-up articles two and three discussing sports injury treatment and recovery soon!
To receive an expert, comprehensive diagnosis for a sports injury, schedule an appointment now with an EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region Specialist. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255.