Sports Medicine

Back pain? Turn to Bon Secours
Millions of Americans exercise and play sports everyday. Some of us like a stroll in the park. Others prefer a competitive softball game or the demands of a marathon. Naturally, injuries often occur with these activities. Sometimes, a runner hits a pothole, a weightlifter uses bad form or a basketball player stops and turns too quickly. No matter how an injury occurs rapid treatment always is the smart choice.

For athletes of all ages, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute is an excellent place to receive the care and advice you need when you need it. Our doctors are skilled and experienced in dealing with every sort of sports-related injury from sprains and strains to breaks and tears. We use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and recovery. We understand, too, that women are more prone to certain athletic injuries, particularly in the shoulders and knees, than men. For example, female athletes are two to eight times more likely than men, depending on the sport, to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The NCAA estimates that 10 percent of all women athletes will hurt their ACL. Likewise, women are two to three times more likely than men to experience adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as “frozen shoulder.” We know exactly what to do in these cases and similar ones, and can advise patients how to avoid them in the future.

At our Orthopaedic Institute, physical therapy plays a special role in sports medicine. So, we make sure that, when needed, patients work with therapists to regain strength, stability and mobility.

When it comes to sports medicine, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute is a natural choice for injured athletes who want to get up on their feet and back in the game as quickly as possible.

Our affiliated practice groups:

 

   

 

Head injuries are an all-too-common part of American athletics – amateur and professional. In fact, an estimated 300,000 people suffer these every year in the United States. Head trauma is a regular feature of cycling, boxing, football, wrestling, rugby and even basketball and soccer. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and even repeated mild traumas can lead to long-term neurological and cognitive problems. Prevention is important. Concussion symptoms vary in severity. They include dizziness, headache, vomiting, difficulty concentrating and loss of memory, balance and consciousness. If a concussion occurs, a player should stop all activity and immediately seek medical aid. For even mild concussions, athletes probably should desist from participating in sport for a period specified by a physician. No medicine exists to cure concussions. However, doctors may be able to prescribe drugs to address symptoms. At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, we strongly recommend the use of appropriate safety gear for all sports. However, when head trauma occurs we are prepared to diagnosis and to treat it. We also advocate that anybody receiving a head injury seek appropriate medical care immediately. This is especially true when patients are children or adolescents. When needed, we use a team approach to all aspects of care. This allows us to draw on the experience, skill and wisdom of healthcare professionals from a variety of fields.
Elbow injuries frequently occur in sports. Fractures, dislocations, torn tendons and overuse problems, like “tennis elbow,” are commonplace. Regardless of which elbow condition you may have, the doctors, nurses and physical therapists at Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute can help. We have the skill, experience and state-of-the-art equipment to address a wide range of elbow injuries. Often, these cases require nonsurgical care. Rest, medicine, braces, therapy and, perhaps, a change of athletic equipment can work wonders. If surgery is necessary, our physicians are well versed in the latest techniques. We have an especially strong expertise with minimally invasive procedures that provide rapid healing, lower risk of infection and reduced pain.

Athletes give their knees a hard workout. Bending, turning, jumping, landing and starting and stopping quickly all can take their toll on this important joint. The doctors at Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute know that knees suffer some of the most common and complex sports-related injuries. For anybody who loves to play a sport or to engage in vigorous exercise; damage to the knees can be a debilitating and frustrating experience.

Fortunately, the health care team at the Orthopaedic Institute has a lot of experience – and success – with treating a wide range of knee problems. In caring for patients, we’re able to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology and procedures.

Arthroscopic Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction

Ligaments connect bone to bone. ACLs are in your knee and prevent your shinbone from sliding in front of your thighbone. ACLs also are critical for moving your knee backward and forward. ACLs often get damaged in sports, like soccer and football, where players jump, change directions quickly or are hit. ACL patients often report hearing a “pop” and then having their knee fail when the injury occurs. Treatment depends on the severity of the damage and the patient’s age and activity level. Older, sedentary individuals typically do fine with a brace and therapy. Younger, active people often need surgery. ACLs cannot be sutured together, but they can be grafted. Material for grafts may come from the patient or a cadaver. Doctors will perform the operation using arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. A surgeon will make only small incisions and use them as a passage for a miniature camera and tiny instruments. This approach allows for faster healing, lower chances of infection and less disruption of surrounding tissue.

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Repair

Ligaments connect bone to bone. The MCL links the thigh and shin bones. This ligament is on the inner side of the knee. The MCL allows for sideways movement of the knee and helps with its stability. MCL damage is common in skiing and football when the knee is forced to the side. The majority of MCL injuries do not require surgery. They usually respond well to icing, bracing and physical therapy. However, surgery may be needed, if the MCL is severely torn. Surgeons only require a small incision for these procedures due to the MCL’s location. If the ligament is torn in two, then the doctor stitches the ends together. If the tear occurs where the MCL attaches to thigh or shin bones, then the physician connects the ligament to bone with stitches, a staple or a screw.

Arthroscopic Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Surgery

Ligaments connect bone to bone. The PCL is in the back of the knee and connects thigh and shin bones. This ligament keeps the shinbone from moving too far forward. PCLs are strong. Injuries are relatively rare and typically require tremendous force. Frequently, healing can occur with only icing, bracing and physical therapy. However, if PCL damage is severe, surgery may be required. In these cases, surgeons will graft a ligament, using material from either the patient or a cadaver.  Doctors will perform the operation using arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. A surgeon will make only small incisions and use them as a passage for a miniature camera and tiny instruments. This approach allows for faster, healing, lower chances of infection and less disruption of surrounding tissue. 

arthroscopic meniscal repair

Each of your knees has two menisci, cartilage that serves as a shock absorber for the thigh and shin bones. Meniscus injuries are common in contact sports, like football and rugby. Tears occur when a player is hit or squats and then twists his knees. Treatment depends on the type of tear, the patient’s age and activity level and whether or not other parts of the knee are hurt. Lesser tears may heal with only rest, icing, compression, elevation and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, like aspirin. Doctors will perform the operation using arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive. A surgeon will make only small incisions and use them as a passage for a miniature camera and tiny instruments. This approach allows for faster healing, lower chances of infection and less disruption of surrounding tissue.
 

The shoulder is the body’s most flexible joint and that explains why athletes so often injure it. Swimmers, weightlifters, baseball pitchers and tennis players are especially prone to shoulder damage. These injuries range from tendonitis to tendon tears. In most cases, care consists of icing, rest, physical therapy and taking anti-inflammatory medicine, like ibuprofen. However, more serious shoulder injuries may require surgery. If so, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute’s doctors have the skill, experience and technology to help. We’re adept at handling a wide range of procedures, including minimally invasive ones, which allow for faster healing, less pain and lower chance of infection.

Shoulder Surgery

Some of the more common shoulder injuries addressed by our surgeons include:

  • Impingement and partial rotator cuff tears. 
    The rotator cuff is comprised of muscles and tendon that connect upper arm and shoulder blade. Repeated overhead use of the arm cause spurs that trap rotator cuff tendon above the shoulder. When this happens, doctors remove the spurs and repair cuff damage.

  • Full-thickness rotator cuff tears. 
    The rotator cuff is comprised of muscles and tendon that connect the upper arm and shoulder blade. Causes of tears include lifting a heavy object, overuse, a fall or gradual weakening due to impingement. A complete rotator cuff tear will not heal. So, a surgeon must reattach the torn tendon to the arm bone.

  • Fractures. 
    Many shoulder breaks need nothing more than a sling or brace and time to heal. However, severe fractures may require surgery. Typical procedures include repair of a collar bone or head of the arm bone. The latter may call for joint replacement using artificial materials.

Shoulder Instability

The shoulder usually becomes unstable due to sudden in jury or overuse. The condition occurs when the head of the upper arm bone separates from its socket at the shoulder. Mild cases often require physical therapy, medicine and the cessation of activities that aggravated the condition. In severe cases, surgeons repair torn or stretched ligaments so the arm bone and its shoulder socket have normal alignment.

The doctors at Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute know that athletes regularly experience sprains and strains. Sprains occur when ligaments, which connect bone to bone, are stretched or torn. Strains happen when muscle and tendons, which link muscle and bone, are damaged. In both cases, mild injuries are treated with rest, icing, elevation and compression. Severe cases often require surgery. The specific type depends on location and severity and the patient’s age and health. Whatever treatment your sprain or strain may need, rest assured that the health care team at our Orthopaedic Institute can deliver it and get you back on the path to enjoying your favorite sports activities.