What Is Orthopedic Sports Medicine?

May 19th, 2022 Becki Andrus
What Is Orthopedic Sports Medicine?

When you are injured, and your performance on the field is on the line, it’s critical to visit a specialist to access the best treatments for recovery. Sports injuries not only affect your game, but they can have a life-long impact on other areas of your life as well.

Orthopedic sports medicine is a sub-specialty in the orthopedic industry, with specialists who focus on a variety of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system as the result of sports activities.

Unique Considerations for Sports Medicine

Not only do these specialists work to get an athlete back into the game, but time is often a critical factor that needs to be addressed. Athletes are often mid-season when injuries happen, and their goal is to get back out to play as quickly as possible.

Ultimately every athlete wants to participate in the game at their pre-injury level. While this isn’t always possible, an orthopedic sports medicine doctor can support recovery to increase the likelihood of post-injury performance.

Additionally, orthopedic sports medicine doctors can work hand-in-hand with athletes, helping with a proactive approach to improve performance on the field and reduce the risk of injuries. Instead of waiting for an injury to happen, you can partner with a sports medicine expert to learn about effective strategies for minimizing the issues that will keep you off the field in the future.

Treating the Root Cause

One problem with sports injuries is that athletes are so anxious to get back in the game that they return prematurely. As a result, the risk of injury goes up since the body is already weakened due to previous injuries.

A sports medicine expert understands the need for a prompt return and knows the importance of proper healing time. An experienced sports medicine doctor gets to the root cause of the pain and mobility issues, helping each athlete determine the optimal amount of time to sit out. Additionally, various treatments can be used to speed up recovery and even improve the athlete’s performance overall.

Orthopedic Treatments for Athletes

Orthopedic doctors treat athletes and non-athletes alike. Whether you are in professional sports or a “weekend warrior,” you deserve to be working with a doctor who specializes in injuries relating to sports.

An orthopedic doctor uses physical, medical, surgical, and rehabilitative solutions to address both chronic and acute issues affecting the musculoskeletal system. These treatments are available for people of all ages, including young athletes and elderly patients.

When to Visit an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Doctor?

While these specialists often assist with serious, acute injuries, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation for minor pains as well. Here are a few signs that you will benefit from sports medicine services:

  • Acute Injury: You can identify the moment when an injury happened. If you walk off the sports field with pain or mobility concerns in a specific part of the body, then it’s critical to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Prompt treatment helps to minimize long-term issues from the injury.
  • Chronic Pain: How often does chronic pain impact your performance in the game? If you are living with chronic pain, it’s time to see an orthopedic specialist to get to the root of the problem.
  • Old Injuries: If you have old sports injuries that weren’t properly treated, how are these injuries affecting you today? Sports medicine experts can assist with these old injuries, helping you reduce the impact of these injuries in your everyday life.
  • Performance Goals: Sports medicine doctors can provide a proactive approach to improving your performance. Talk to a doctor about your goals and concerns to find out treatments and training methods that will help to optimize your skills.
  • Degenerative Issues: Degenerative conditions take a toll over time. Not only do they affect your sports performance, but it’s vital to stay ahead of these conditions to improve your overall lifestyle.

While the goal of visiting with an orthopedic sports medicine specialist is to help you return to the game as soon as possible, it’s just as important to consider your comfort in all other areas of your life. For example, a sports injury can affect your mobility and movement at home and work. So, reach out to a sports medicine expert without delay to ensure you have hands-on support to avoid the long-term issues after an injury.

Treatments and Surgeries from a Sports Medicine Doctor

Treatments available from a sports medicine specialist include:

  • Dislocation or fracture
  • Strains and sprains
  • Torn ligaments
  • Infections
  • Joint issues
  • Degenerative issues
  • Congenital conditions
  • Sciatica
  • Ruptured discs
  • Bursitis
  • Bone tumors
  • And more

Keep in mind: just because you are visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that you will need surgical treatment. Our doctors prefer minimally-invasive therapies whenever possible. The goal is to help you return to your pre-injury performance while minimizing recovery time.

Some structural injuries require surgical treatments for soft tissue repair, broken bone treatments, diagnosis, and more. Surgical treatments can be considered on an as-needed basis, depending on each athlete’s unique needs.

Is There a Difference Between an Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician?

Both orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors offer services to treat injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. But a sports medicine doctor specializes in sports-related injuries specifically, while an orthopedic surgeon is a generalist who also treats patients who aren’t participating in sports.

Keep in mind that some orthopedic surgeons are also sports medicine doctors. As a result, you can work with a doctor who provides non-surgical treatments as well as options for surgery as needed.

Benefits of Visiting an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Physician

Why should you choose an orthopedic sports medicine physician instead of visiting with a generalist or primary care provider? Here are some of the benefits you can expect:

  • Maximize physical function – on and off the field
  • Reduce the time you must spend in recovery
  • Speed up the timeline to return to the game
  • Design a minimally-invasive treatment plan

Many sports injuries don’t require surgery, which helps to speed up the timeline for your recovery. In addition, when you are working with a sports medicine doctor, you can have confidence in knowing that the provider will design a personalized treatment plan for your unique needs.

Schedule a Sports Medicine Consultation

If you are experiencing a sports-related injury or you want assistance to improve your performance, then it’s time to book a consultation with an orthopedic sports medicine physician.

Our professional team at Orthopedic Associates is here to assist. Learn about our full-service approach for athletes and non-athletes alike. You’re invited to book an appointment at your convenience. Call our office at (972) 420-1776.


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