According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 8 million Americans seek medical care for sports-related injuries each year. Sports injuries can be some of the most concerning and debilitating. They often force athletes to take time out of the game they love, and sometimes even end careers unexpectedly. If you’ve recently experienced a sports-related injury, it’s important to understand your symptoms, treatment options, and how to prevent future issues.

Common sports injuries can include sprains (tears to ligaments that attach bones together), tendonitis (inflammation of tendons), muscle strains (overstretching/tearing of muscle fibers), fractures, patellofemoral pain syndrome (pain around knee cap), and dislocations. In some cases, a more serious medical diagnosis such as spinal cord injury, concussion, or traumatic brain injury may occur.

It’s important to recognize the signs of these injuries in order to seek immediate medical attention if necessary. Early diagnosis and intervention is key to successful recovery. Diagnostic tools such as X-rays and MRI imaging can help identify the source of a patient’s pain and provide helpful information on the type of injury sustained. Physical examination from an orthopaedic specialist such as Dr. Keith Nelson can also help diagnose and determine any additional treatment measures that need to be taken.

Symptoms of sports injuries can vary widely depending on the cause and severity of the trauma, but some common signs include localized pain and swelling. When this occurs it is important to seek medical consultation someone who specializes in sports medicine, rehabilitation, and orthopaedic surgery. With Dr. Nelson’s expertise, he can accurately diagnose your injury, explain your options for treatment or surgical intervention if necessary, as well as offer advice for recovery and prevention of future injuries.

Treatment for sports injuries will depend on your individual needs and goals. Depending on the type of injury you’ve experienced, physical therapy may be beneficial to improve your range of motion or strengthen weakened muscles. Non-operative interventions such as bracing or anti-inflammatory medications can also provide relief from pain or swelling in certain circumstances. As mentioned above, consulting with an orthopaedic specialist is essential to deciding which treatment route is best tailored for your specific situation.

In addition to understanding appropriate treatment options for your particular injury, it’s important to take steps for prevention in order to avoid further pain or time away from active activities or participation in your sport of choice. Prevention tips can include proper warmup before activity (stretching/light aerobic activity), regular strengthening exercises that target imbalanced muscle groups surrounding affected areas, protective equipment when applicable (brace/cast/tape), nutrition specifically tailored towards an athlete’s needs (carbohydrates/hydration/vitamins), and adequate rest periods between sessions while allowing ample time for healing if necessary.

No matter what type of sports-related injury you suffer from, rest assured that Dr. Keith Nelson is experienced in treating all types of conditions related to musculoskeletal trauma and will provide informed guidance on how to proceed with your care plan. Even if surgery isn’t necessary, he will ensure you receive effective relief options tailored towards your individual needs so you can resume normal sporting activities with confidence! To schedule with him, click here.