Sports injuries are common in active individuals and less active people during occasional exercise. While many can be managed with home care, such as rest and ice, others require surgery. Addressing them early on enhances healing and prevents complications. Dr. Alicia Knee specializes in effective diagnoses and treatment of sports injuries in San Francisco. To learn more or make an appointment at Alicia Knee, DPM, call today.
Most sports injuries are mild to moderate in severity, meaning there’s damage, but all of your bones and ligaments are still in place. The most common sports injuries include sprains and strains, particularly ankle sprains, groin pulls, hamstring strains, shin splints, knee injuries, and tennis elbow.
Ankle problems are especially common in athletes, most of whom experience a sprained ankle — stretching or tearing of ligaments, usually on the outside of the ankle — at some point. To prevent ongoing ankle instability, proper care is important. If a sprain is severe or tenderness occurs above your ankle, see a doctor promptly. Appropriate exercise can help prevent the loss of strength and flexibility, as well as re-injury. The RICE protocol — rest, ice, compression (with bandages), and elevation — may suffice after a mild injury.
Turf toe is a sprain in your big toe, affecting the main joint. Caused by forcibly hyperextending your toe, the injury is on the rise in American football players since artificial turf, which has more give than hard surfaces, is commonplace on fields. It can happen when you’re pushing off into a sprint, yet the toe stays flat on the ground. A medical exam helps determine if you need treatment beyond RICE protocol. More severe cases may require a walking boot, cast, or surgery.
An osteochondral injury affects the smooth surface on the ends of bones and the bone below it. Ranging in severity from small cracks to a bone piece breaking off within a joint, the injury usually happens at your ankle, elbow, or knee. Causes aren’t fully known, but heredity, compressive trauma, and repetitive strain may contribute. Symptoms include joint instability, pain when bearing weight, swelling, locking or catching of the joint, decreased motion, and tenderness.Treatment include pain medications, ice, modified activity, rehabilitation exercises and, in severe cases, surgery.
Achilles tendon ruptures affect the lower back leg. You may feel a pop when it happens, followed by sharp pain. While there are less invasive treatment options, such as casts and walking boots, surgery is often required. The operation usually involves making an incision and stitching the torn tendon back together.
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