Gymnastics is a sport in which a person uses their whole body to perform movements. Gymnasts are flexible and strong. However, they are also prone to injuries when they overuse various body parts or if they land in the wrong position. While sustaining such injuries is not life-threatening, when they do occur, you need to get a diagnosis and treatment plan in place quickly. Otherwise, you could end up having a longer recovery than necessary. Here are some of the most common gymnastic injuries.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Achilles tendon rupture is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel of the foot. Symptoms of the rupture can include sudden, sharp pain and swelling between the calf and the heel. You can also feel stiffness when you wake up in the morning, and it may affect your ability to walk.
Achilles tendon ruptures are usually caused by a sudden force on the tendon when doing strenuous activities, such as gymnastics. Middle-aged adults who do recreational sports are also prone to this type of injury as well as those who are overweight.
Treatments for this injury include applying ice, using crutches, and taking pain relievers. If you have a complete tear, you will need surgery as treatment.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
ACL is one of the major ligaments on your knee that controls the movement of your lower leg. It is prone to overuse or overstretching injuries. Gymnasts typically incur this injury when they over-rotate during dismounting, tumbling, or vaulting.
An ACL tear may be partial or full, and treatment for this type of injury depends on the severity of the damage. Most treatment plans include rest and rehabilitation exercises.
There is an increased risk of getting an ACL tear if you wear footwear that doesn’t fit properly, participate in sports, or use poorly maintained sports equipment. Common symptoms of an ACL tear is a “popping” sensation in your knee, swelling, and unbearable pain, or being unable to move.
A wrist fracture occurs from a fall on an outstretched hand or too much force exerted on the wrist, especially when hyperextended. This injury is common among adolescent gymnasts.
The most commonly broken bone in the wrist is the scaphoid, a small bone located near your thumb. Because symptoms of a wrist fracture are minimal, the injury can sometimes be mistaken as a wrist sprain. Your risk of getting your wrist injured increases if you perform with improper techniques, use inadequate equipment, or if you had a previous injury.
Symptoms of a wrist fracture include tenderness directly over the bone and increased pain when you move your thumb or grip onto something. There may also be swelling if the fracture is severe, and you may be required to undergo hand surgery to correct the injury.
Treatment for Gymnastics Injuries In Maryland
If you want to continue your journey as a gymnast, don’t wait for your injury to worsen. It could prevent you from accomplishing your gymnastics goals in the long run.
At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, we have a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeons. They can diagnose and treat gymnastic injuries and educate you on how to prevent them. We offer conservative treatments, on-site diagnostic imaging, nerve assessment services, and state-of-the-art surgical procedures.
If you want to know more, call us at (410) 644-1880 or toll-free at (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663). You can also schedule an appointment online. We look forward to serving you soon!