Injuries are common for athletes, and they range from mild to serious. Here are the five most common types of sports injuries, and what kind of sports medicine you will need to treat each of them:
A sprain occurs when a ligament — tissue that connects a bone to another bone — stretches too far or tears. Sprains are most common in the wrists, knees, or ankles. About 60% of all foot or ankle injuries in people over 17 are ankle sprains or strains.
Treatment varies for sprains. If the sprain is not serious, you might just need to rest the ankle using the RICE regimen. If it is a more serious injury, you might need to have a doctor immobilize or splint your ankle. In rare cases, surgery is necessary.
2. Knee Injuries
Knee injuries are extremely common for athletes. They range from mild injuries like runner’s knee, to a major tear to a ligament in the knee. The four major ligaments in the knee that are commonly injured are the PCL, the MCL, the ACL, and the LCL.
Treating your knee injury will depend on what type of injury it is and how serious it is. Runner’s knee can be treated with rest and regular leg stretches. For a torn knee ligament, an operation by an orthopedic surgeon might be necessary. ACL surgery is a common procedure in sports medicine, and it can range from ACL repair to ACL reconstruction.
3. Shin Splints
Shin splints are simply the sensation of pain along the shin bone. They are common in runners, particularly runners who run on hard surfaces.
Shin splints can be treated by resting your legs, and taking precautions when running. Running on a boardwalk or a track rather than on concrete can prevent shin splints, as can sneakers with better support, and stretching before running.
Fractures are broken bones, which can occur with a single injury, or repeated stress on the bone over time. Sports medicine specialists most commonly see patients with fractures in the legs or feet.
A fractured bone will usually need to be set by a doctor and then put in a cast. In some cases, you might need surgery to repair the fracture. Surgery can also reduce the likelihood of further injury. In 2010, there were about 671,000 inpatient procedures done to reduce fractures.
A dislocation occurs when the bones in a joint are pushed out of alignment. It most commonly occurs with the fingers and hand. The shoulder is the second most common dislocated joint, and shoulder injuries are the fifth most common injury among high school athletes.
Dislocated joints can be put back into place by a medical professional. From there, you might be fine, or you might have damage to the connective tissue around the joint, which your doctor will have to address. Research more here. See more.