Sports Medicine Diagnosis, Treatment, and Rehabilitation
You don't have to be a professional athlete to be susceptible to sports injuries. Recreational athletes, weekend warriors, and physically active people can experience a host of orthopaedic injuries, fractures, and muscle sprains and strains.
Sports Medicine Catonsville, Columbia & Eldersburg, MD
The board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland have expertise in the specialty of sports medicine. Our doctors and sports medicine specialists diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate sports-related conditions and injuries, as well as help athletes improve their performance. For your convenience, we offer on-site diagnostic imaging and have an on-site surgical center.
Are you an injured athlete? Call (410) 644-1880 for a same-day urgent need appointment at our Catonsville, Columbia, or Eldersburg sports medicine clinic, or schedule an appointment with our secure online form.
CONDITIONS WE TREAT
The Achilles tendon is the most powerful tendon in the human body. Tendons are strong tissues that connect muscles to bone. The Achilles tendon is located in the lower back part of the leg and works with the calf muscles to provide forceful foot movements.
Achilles tendon ruptures most commonly occur as a result of sports injuries. People with weakened and inflamed tendons are especially susceptible to injury.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. Ligaments are strong nonelastic fibers that connect our bones together. The ACL crosses inside of the knee, connecting the thighbone (femur) to the lower leg. It provides stability to the knee joint.
ACL tears most commonly occur in very active people or athletes. The ACL can tear completely or partially. When this happens, it is common to see other surrounding knee structures damaged as well. Some cases of ACL tears are treated with nonsurgical methods. However, there are several surgical options that successfully restore knee strength and stability.
Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) is a type of cumulative trauma injury that occurs when the tendons that attach to the inner elbow degenerate. Tendons do not stretch easily and are vulnerable to degeneration during repetitive motions, such as those used during a golf swing or certain work activities.
The pain of golfer's elbow occurs where the tendons attach to the elbow bone (medial epicondyle) and can radiate down the forearm. The majority of people with golfer's elbow find symptom relief with nonsurgical methods. If surgery is necessary, there are open and arthroscopic methods to fix the problem.
The menisci are cartilage structures in the knee joint that act as buffers between the bones. The menisci can tear during strong twisting motions of the knee, especially when the foot remains firmly planted on the ground and the knee is bent. Pivoting, cutting, changing directions quickly, or slowing down quickly during sports, such as football, tennis, or soccer, can cause a meniscus tear.
Some tears in certain parts of the meniscus may heal on their own, but in many cases surgery is necessary. Arthroscopic surgery is the accepted method of treating meniscus tears. Because the joint is not fully opened, recovery is faster and associated with fewer complications than with older open-surgery methods.
Four ligaments connect your knee bones together. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the inner side of your knee while the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outer side of your knee. Together they help the joint resist side-to-side stress and maintain positioning.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) cross inside the knee joint and help keep the joint aligned. Ligaments may be sprained (stretched) or torn, either partially or completely. While the ACL is the knee ligament most often injured, the PCL is also highly susceptible to injury.
Pitcher’s elbow, also called Little League Syndrome, results from excessive throwing motions used in sports. It most frequently occurs in baseball, but is associated with other sports that involve throwing.
Pitcher’s elbow causes pain and interferes with motion. In many cases, the condition responds to rest and nonoperative treatment. If left untreated, however, pitcher’s elbow can lead to significant problems that require surgery.
Rotator cuff tears are a common source of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff consists of four shoulder muscles and their tendons that cover the upper end of our arm bone, forming a cuff.
The risk of rotator cuff tears increases with age. The aging process can cause the tendons and muscles to degenerate and weaken. Rotator cuff tears can also result from sudden shoulder movements or overuse during sports, such as pitching in baseball or playing tennis, or from falls.
Some rotator cuff tears can be treated with nonsurgical methods. However, surgical procedures have become less invasive, resulting in good outcomes with improved recovery times.
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is a condition that results in deterioration of the tendon fibers that attach to the bone at the outside of the elbow. The pain of tennis elbow occurs primarily where the tendons of the forearm muscles attach to the elbow bone at the lateral epicondyle.
While playing racquet sports is a common cause of tennis elbow (hence the name), most individuals with the condition participate in work or activities that require repeated use of the forearm muscles.
Many of the most common sports injuries can be treated with arthroscopic surgery, a procedure that allows orthopaedic surgeons to see, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. Knee ligament or cartilage injuries such as an ACL tear or meniscus tear, as well as shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tear and impingement syndrome, can be repaired through arthroscopy.
Arthroscopy is less invasive than a traditional open surgery. Other benefits include less pain, less bleeding, decreased risk of infection, and shorter recovery period.
Except for severe ligament, tendon, or cartilage tears, most sports injuries can first be treated with physical therapy. And for injuries that do require surgery, rehabilitation will be an integral part of your post-op recovery process.
The goal of physical therapy is to facilitate the healing process for your injury and help you safely return to your sport. Therapeutic exercises including strength training, aerobic exercise, and stretching are an important part of your rehab. They help improve flexibility, strength, endurance, and posture while preventing injury, pain, and deterioration. Sport-specific exercises and modalities such as heat, ice, and ultrasound, may be used together to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
We know that most sports-related injuries happen during after-school practices or on the weekend – when doctor offices aren’t typically open. At Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, however, we offer walk-in urgent care for orthopaedic injuries on Friday from 4 pm – 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm at our Columbia office.
No appointment is necessary! If you or your child has a minor acute sports injury such as simple fracture, sprain, strain, or muscle spasm that requires medical attention, come on in and you’ll be seen within minutes.