Treating Sports Injuries

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Baptist Health Lexington: Treating Sports Injuries

Orthopedic surgeon Timothy Wilson, MD, discusses treatment for common sports injuries and explains why it’s helpful to see a doctor specializing in sports medicine.

Treating Sports Injuries Health Talks Transcript

Timothy Wilson, MD, Orthopedic Surgery
Some of the most common sports medicine injuries we see involve the shoulder, the knee, and the ankle, such as sprains and strains. Really, any part of the body could be injured in athletic activity. One of the more common things we see in sports medicine is your weekend warrior — your 35-year-old that’s out playing soccer and basketball, and they tear their Achilles tendon, or a meniscus in the knee. Rotator cuff injuries are common as well. You don’t have to be athlete to see a sports medicine physician. If a patient or athlete has an injury that’s not getting better in a couple of days, for example, if an athlete can’t walk on their extremity, or essentially can’t play their sport, that would be a reason to seek medical attention. An athlete shouldn’t continue when they risk further injury.

The most common treatments are what we call RICE, that’s rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If a patient doesn’t respond to that, we may order physical therapy, medications, sometimes injections, an MRI may be necessary, in addition to X-rays, and in some cases surgery.

One reason to see a sports medicine provider is that we treat each athlete uniquely to their condition and what their sport is, and age plays a role, what their activity level is. For example, some injuries need surgery right away, some can wait until the end of the season, and some may not need surgery at all, so it helps to see someone familiar with sports medicine.