The Connection Between Sports Medicine And Arthroscopy

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Sports medicine is a branch of healthcare that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries for athletes of any skill level. The goal is to get athletes back to enjoying their sport as quickly as possible. Whether you play sports professionally or are a parent supporting your little leaguer, you may eventually become familiar with sports medicine and one of its related treatments, arthroscopy.

Common types of orthopedic sports injuries and treatments

Orthopedic injuries are common among athletes because of wear and tear, falls, and other accidents. Injuries include ACL and other ligament tears, meniscus tears, fractures, strains, torn tendons, and even joint dislocations. Preventing injuries is the best course of action, but sometimes they cannot be avoided. Orthopedic doctors can help treat sports injuries with rehabilitation, bracing, and surgery (traditional open surgery and arthroscopy).

What is arthroscopy?

This is a minimally invasive procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to treat and diagnose some injuries. It is usually performed after other testing options including x-rays and MRI or CT scans. The doctor will insert a small fiber-optic light, a magnifying lens, and a camera into the affected area (like a joint) to see any damage. These tools allow the professional to get a detailed look at the injury.

Arthroscopy is a common treatment for sports injuries. But, some require a mixture of this procedure and open surgery. Common injuries that can be treated using arthroscopy alone include tendon, ligament, and cartilage tears, rotator cuff tears, and inflamed joints. The knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles, hips, and wrists are the most often areas treated using this method.

The benefits of arthroscopy over traditional surgery

There are many benefits that come with choosing to get arthroscopy from an orthopedic surgeon. If you choose this treatment over traditional surgery (not everyone needs surgery, after all), here are some of the benefits you’ll experience.

  1. The incisions (called portals) are small, so scarring should be minimal, and there is less muscle damage.
  2. Recovery is faster than after traditional surgery because arthroscopy is a day surgery.
  3. Rehabilitation is also faster and usually more comfortable too.

Are there any complications with arthroscopy

As with any procedure, there could be complications that arise. Before you go through with arthroscopy, your doctor will discuss the benefits and possible risks with you. These are rare but can include blood clots, arthritis, infection, swelling, nerve damage, and muscle damage. Keep in mind that if complications do occur, recovery could take longer.

Arthroscopy and sports medicine in the Texas Panhandle

If you would like to learn more about sports medicine and arthroscopy, contact the team at Texas Panhandle Orthopedics today. Dr. Dear is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and arthroscopy and is able to diagnose and treat a variety of injuries. You can reach us at (806) 502-6570 or send us an email for more information.