Southern Bone & Joints Specialists is fully staffed and equipped to treat the student athletes and “weekend warriors” in the Wiregrass and surrounding areas. The specialists at our Sports Medicine Center function as a team—a winning team of orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, and athletic trainers with an unbeaten record in treating common overuse and trauma-induced injuries. Our “mobile office” can be seen at all of the major athletic events of more than 30 high schools and junior colleges in the area.
As experts in sports medicine, our specialists can be trusted to recommend the best course of treatment for each individual. While some patients may require surgery, most can be treated more conservatively with medication and/or physical therapy and rehabilitation techniques. And to ensure a safe return to sports after treatment, prophylactic services such as prescription bracing and shoe orthotics are also provided.
The Sports Clinic is equipped with the latest in diagnostic, treatment, and rehabilitation equipment and technology. We can perform the initial evaluation, provide any appropriate imaging needed, and institute subsequent treatment…all in one state-of-the-art center.
When physical therapy is prescribed, a skilled team of physical therapists and athletic trainers customizes a treatment program and closely monitors each patient’s progress, including follow-up with school coaches of injured student athletes. There are four basic stages in rehabilitation following typical sports injuries. Skipping any of these steps may actually prolong recovery and increase risk of re-injury.
Focuses on controlling pain and inflammation with the P.R.I.C.E. treatment approach: Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Works on restoring full range of motion to injured joints using muscle strengthening exercises and, later, light resistance training.
Introduces biomechanical skill activities related to specific sports movements and may also include cardiovascular endurance training.
The maintenance stage. Commences when normal function returns. A personalized exercise program is developed that will help to maintain flexibility, strength, and endurance, and prevent re-injury.
When more than physical therapy is required, advanced arthroscopic procedures provide a minimally invasive alternative to major corrective surgery. In arthroscopic surgery, an arthroscope is inserted through a tiny incision into an injured joint to enable the surgeon to view the joint on a video monitor and perform the needed surgical repair. Common sports-related orthopaedic disorders that can be treated arthroscopically include torn cartilage (meniscus) and ligaments in the knee and shoulder, and inflammation of the synovium (lining) and loose bone or cartilage fragments in the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and ankle.
Injured athletes with a torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL and PCL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the knee frequently opt for arthroscopic surgery in order to regain full function.
During the procedure, holes are drilled in the tibia and femur exactly where the original ligament was attached. A tendon graft taken from the patient’s patellar tendon is then pulled through the hole and is secured in place with surgical screws. This allows for new blood vessels to grow into the tendon graft and for healing to occur. While the procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, it can take up to 9 months to fully recover.
A common sports injury is shoulder instability—the partial or complete dislocation of the head of the humerus (arm) bone from the shoulder socket. In younger, more athletic patients, arthroscopic surgery is recommended to prevent future dislocations. Torn ligaments can be reattached with small tacks inserted arthroscopically; stretched ligaments can be tightened with sutures or with a new arthroscopic procedure that uses heat to shrink tissue—thermal capsulorrhaphy.
The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles connected to the humerus bone that keep it from dislocating, and rotator cuff injuries are a frequent reason for visiting our Sports Medicine Center. Repetitive, overhead motions can result in inflammation, or tendonitits, and small tears in the rotator cuff, which can usually be treated with medication and physical therapy. In younger, and even older, athletic patients, arthroscopic surgery is recommended to restore full function. Physical therapy after surgery is vital to prevent “frozen shoulder”.
When more conservative treatments are exhausted, corrective surgery like total joint replacement may be considered. If so, you can be sure that the our Southern Bone& Joint orthopaedic surgeons will provide you with: