Can arthroscopic surgery be used to treat a common sports injury?
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Can arthroscopic surgery be used to treat a common sports injury?

Introduction

Exercise is important for you to stay active and for being healthy, but people often get hurt when participating in sports or other physical activities. A sports injury occurs when part of your body is damaged due to sports, exercise or athletic activities. It can be acute (sudden) or chronic (develop over a period). 

In general sports injuries can be managed by physical therapy, pain reliever medications, and by taking adequate rest. Elevating the damaged part of your body, applying ice packs, and limiting the movements will help to relieve pain and swelling as well as speed up the healing. If they are difficult to manage with all these methods, surgical corrections are available. One of the commonly preferred methods to manage sports injuries is arthroscopic surgery. As it is a minimally invasive procedure, it needs minor incisions to complete the procedure and it reduces postoperative pain and speeds up the healing.

What are Sports Injuries?

A sports injury is defined as damage to your part of the body as a result of sports, exercise, or athletic activity. You are at a high risk for being injured if you don’t warm up well before exercise, participate in contact sports, have not been regularly active, are out of shape, and don’t wear proper protective equipment. The most common parts of the body that get injured during sports activities are the ankle, elbow, Achilles tendon, head, knee, and shoulder.

What are the causes of sports injuries?

The following are the causes of sports injuries:

  • Accidents like a fall or trauma
  • Bad exercise habits like not warming up or stretching properly before doing exercise
  • Improper wearing or not wearing of protective equipment
  • Wearing shoes with the incorrect size
  • Sudden starting of an exercise program or a prolonged duration of physical activity which your body has not experienced prior

What are the most common types of sports injuries?

The following are the most common types of sports injuries:

  • Broken bone: A broken bone or bone fracture occurs as a result of a sudden force applied to the bone.
  • Sprains: Overstretching or tearing ligaments causes sprains. 
  • Strains: Overstretching of the tendons result in strains.
  • Knee injuries: Overstretching or tearing of muscles or ligaments in the knee causes knee injuries.
  • Swollen muscles: It is a natural reaction occurring in the body as a result of an injury.
  • Dislocations: These injuries happen when a bone is displaced outside of its socket. It may result in pain, swelling, and weakness.
  • Rotator cuff injuries: The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that operate together. The rotator cuff helps your shoulder move in all directions. A tear in any of these muscles can impair the rotator cuff.
  • Achilles tendon rupture: The Achilles tendon is a thin, powerful tendon located at the back of your ankle. breaking or rupturing of this tendon during sports activities results in injuries that cause severe pain, and difficulty in walking. 
  • Tendinitis: Injury and swelling in the tendon causes tendinitis.
  • Cartilage tear: These types of injuries occur mainly in the knee and shoulder.
  • Concussion: A blow or force to the head results in a concussion.

What are the symptoms of sports injuries?

The following are the symptoms of sports injuries:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Visible deformity (a bone or joint is looking to be out of space)
  • Unable to bear weight on your hip, foot, or leg
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness and weakness
  • Skin may feel warm to the touch
  • Trouble in performing a normal range of motion
  • Grinding, cracking, clicking or popping noise

How to diagnose sports injuries?

Your healthcare professional or sports injury specialist will make a detailed history of the injury, when, and what symptoms you were experiencing. They will check for the extent of motion in the injured area. They will also check for swelling, bleeding, or any other associated injuries. Along with this, they will ask you to carry out X-rays, MRIs, and CT Scans to visualize the structures of your body in detail.

How to treat sports injuries?

Treatment of sports injuries depends on the severity of the injury you had. In general sports injuries can be managed with home strategies within a few days or weeks. 

The following are the methods that help to speed up the healing of sports injuries:

  • Take adequate rest
  • Apply ice packs to the affected area 
  • Compress the injured site
  • Elevate the injured part

If your symptoms are not subsided by following these home strategies, you can take pain reliever medications to reduce pain and swelling. Other treatment methods include:

  • Immobilization of the affected part with cast, sling, splint, or other medical devices
  • Injections to reduce pain and swelling
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Surgery to correct the displaced or fractured ligament, tendon, or joint
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the body parts and to speed-up the healing

When to consult a doctor after sports injuries:

You can try home strategies for the initial 24-36 hours after sports injuries to control the symptoms. You can also take pain relievers or apply ice packs, elevate the affected area, take adequate rest etc to manage pain. If the symptoms are not subsiding over some time, you need to consult a sports injury specialist.

The following are the conditions you need to visit the doctor or sports injury specialist immediately:

  • Severe pain and swelling
  • Visible lumps, bumps, or other deformities
  • Inability to put weight on the joint
  • Hearing of popping or crunching sound when you move the joint
  • Instability

Arthroscopic surgery for common sports injuries:

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that helps to diagnose and treat common sports injuries. During an arthroscopy, the surgeon makes a few small incisions in the affected area and uses these openings to insert a small camera (Arthroscope), and tiny surgical instruments. The surgeon can then visualize and explore the inside of the joint to repair or clean out the joint using the inserted instruments.

The following are the benefits of arthroscopic surgery:

  • Small incisions are needed for the procedure
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Speed up the healing process
  • Less scarring
  • Less invasive to adjacent, healthy parts of the joint
  • Reduce the need for traditional or open surgeries

The following are the commonly treated sports injuries in the knee with arthroscopy:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tears
  • Collateral ligament injuries (MCL and LCL injuries)
  • Dislocations

The following are the commonly treated sports injuries in the shoulder with arthroscopy:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Recurrent dislocations

Along with these, arthroscopy also helps to treat sports injuries in the wrist, elbow, hips, and ankle joints.

Conclusion:

Exercise and sports are important to maintain good health, but they often lead to injuries. Many common, minor sports injuries can be treated at home with rest and following other strategies. However,  seek medical attention if pain, swelling, bruising or inability to use the injured area doesn’t get better in a few hours or days.

Experience personalized care in joint restoration from Dr ISHWAR Bohra, a senior orthopedic surgeon in Delhi. Book your consultation today.

FAQs

Q: What is meant by sports injury management?

A: Sports Injury Management is the process of managing a specific injury so that an individual can return to or continue participating in their chosen sport without causing damage or impairment to their body.

Q: Which is the best sports injury centre in Delhi?

A: Sports Injury Centre helps to provide a full range of services, including diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Experience personalized care in joint restoration from Dr ISHWAR Bohra, a senior orthopedic surgeon in Delhi. Book your consultation today.

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