7 Conditions That Can Be Treated by a Sports Medicine Physician

Trying to figure out what type of doctor to see when you have an injury can feel overwhelming. Should you visit your family doctor? Or maybe an orthopedist? And is sports medicine only for competitive athletes?

It may seem confusing, but the short answer is fairly straightforward. Sports medicine physicians have board certification in a specific field, like internal medicine or family medicine. In addition to this training, they also undergo another one to two years of fellowship training in sports medicine.

The field of sports medicine focuses on three primary things:

As a result, they use all of their medical training to help with a wide range of acute or chronic problems to get you back to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible. And, anyone can see a sports medicine specialist, from someone who loves their daily walks or leisurely bike rides to professional athletes training for their next event.

At Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, Dr. Edward Dupay, Jr. uses his expertise in sports medicine to treat these seven common conditions for our patients who live in and around Fort Myers, Florida.

1. Broken bones

Broken bones are a common injury, especially when you lead an active lifestyle. Whether you have a rib fracture from direct impact, a broken ankle from a missed jump, or a broken wrist from a fall, Dr. Dupay’s fracture care can restore proper alignment and promote healing.

2. Stress fractures

Sometimes, broken bones occur without a fall, blow, or trauma. Instead, weak spots or small cracks develop from stress or overuse. These injuries usually occur in the feet or legs, especially in people training for running or gymnastics events.

3. Joint injuries and dislocation

A joint is the area where two or more bones come together. Some can move, like the knee joint, so your leg can bend and flex. Others remain fixed, like the suture joints in your skull. 

When joints get pulled apart, it’s known as a dislocation. You can experience dislocation and other joint injuries anywhere in your body, but they’re most common in the shoulder, knee, and ankle.

4. Cartilage damage

Cartilage is a special form of connective tissue you have in your body. It provides structural and functional purposes between your bones in your joints and spine. One common area to experience cartilage damage is the knee. This joint contains two types: the meniscus and articular cartilage. Cartilage damage often occurs because of pivoting or twisting.

5. Sprains and strains

The terms “sprain” and “strain” often get used interchangeably. However, a sprain affects the ligaments, while a strain involves a muscle or tendon. 

A ligament is the strong, fibrous tissue that holds your joints together by connecting bones to other bones. A tendon is the tough tissue connecting your muscles to bones.

When you have a sprain, it often occurs in your wrist, knee, or ankle. Strains typically involve the hamstrings, hand, and elbow.

6. Tendonitis

Similar to a strain, tendonitis involves a tendon. However, these repetitive stress injuries develop because of irritation or inflammation from small stresses repeatedly aggravating the affected tendon — or overuse.

Tendonitis often involves the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles. Examples of tendonitis include:

These injuries can cause significant tendon damage if you ignore persistent inflammation.

7. Carpal tunnel syndrome

Few of us associate carpal tunnel syndrome with sports medicine, but this common problem occurs from a wide range of activities that go beyond typing, such as:

These activities can compress the median nerve passing through the wrist, which provides sensation to specific hand areas.

If you have any of these injuries, Dr. Dupay can develop a personalized treatment strategy to get you back to the activities you love, pain-free.

To see how sports medicine can help treat your condition, contact our office by calling 239-768-2272 or requesting an appointment online today.

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