Whether you're a school athlete, a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, top performance and fitness are priorities. Crozer Health's fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists expertly diagnose and treat sports-related injuries to help you return to normal activities. Just as importantly, they teach you preventive methods to keep you in the game and avoid future injuries.
Many of our physicians have been Top Doctors in the Philadelphia region and also participate in sports, including long-distance running, marathons, team sports, bicycling and more. They understand the conditions and injuries that can affect athletes and treat each patient with compassion and individual care.
Trends in Sports Medicine
David Webner, M.D., a sports medicine physician at Healthplex® Sports Medicine and a team physician for the Philadelphia Union, explains the evaluation and treatment process for athletes who come in with concussion symptoms or other serious injuries.
Most Common Sports Injuries
Most sports injuries are due to either trauma or overuse of muscles or joints. The majority are caused by minor trauma involving muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones, including:
- Concussions: A jarring brain injury that is caused by a bump or blow to the head that causes headache, dizziness, or other cognitive problems. [Link to Sports Concussions page]
- Contusions (Bruises): An injury to the soft tissue often caused by a blunt force such as a kick, fall or blow. The immediate result will be pain, swelling, and discoloration.
- Sprains: A stretch or tear of a ligament, the flexible bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to cartilage and other bones. They also hold together the bones in your joints. Sprains often affect the ankles, knees or wrists.
- Strains: A twist, pull or tear of a muscle or tendon often caused by overuse, force or stretching. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Common strains include tennis elbow, lumbar strains or runner’s knee.
- Fractures: Breaks in the bone often caused by a blow or a fall. A fracture can range from a simple hairline fracture (a thin fracture that may not run through the entire bone) to a compound fracture, in which the broken bone protrudes through the skin. Most fractures occur in the arms and legs.
- Stress Fractures: Weak spots or small cracks in the bone caused by continuous overuse. Stress fractures often occur in the foot or leg after training for gymnastics, running, and other sports. The bones in the midfoot (metatarsals) in runners are especially vulnerable to stress fractures.
- Dislocations: The ends of two connected bones separate due to extreme force put on a ligament. Stress on joint ligaments can lead to dislocation of the joint.
How to Prevent Sports Injuries
Most sports injuries are the result of inadequate training in certain sports, structural defects in the body, and weaknesses in the body. Many people who start exercising after being sedentary sustain a sports injury. However, with the proper precautions, sports injuries can often be prevented.
The following are some basic steps to prevent a sports injury:
- Warm up properly before any physical activity.
- Alternate exercising different muscle groups and exercise every other day.
- Cool down properly after exercise or sports.
- Stretching exercises can improve the ability of muscles to contract and perform, reducing the risk of injury.
- Shoe support may correct certain foot problems that can lead to injury.
Sports Medicine Services
If you do sustain a sports injury, Crozer Health sports medicine specialists offer the following general services and specialized procedures to help you get back to top performance.
- Non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal pain and injuries
- Fracture management
- Stress fracture management
- Overuse injuries
- Sports Physicals
- Arthritis Care
- Muscle strains and ligament injuries
- Knee arthroscopy
- ACL repairs
- Cartilage regeneration
- Sports concussion management with ImPACT
- Running medicine
- Marathon medicine
- Cycling medicine
- Ultrasound-guided injections and tenotomy
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy
- Steroid Injections
- Custom foot orthotic evaluation and prescription
- Video gait analysis
- Bicycle fit
- Chronic exertional compartment testing
- Athlete EKG testing
- Tenex percutaneous tenotomy (Minimally Invasive Treatment for Tendon Injuries)