Athletes often move quickly, which can result in excessive wear and tear on the joints. Long training sessions and intense workouts also lead to orthopedic problems.
Ligament, Tendon, and Muscle Sprains and Strains
Ligament sprains and strains are common problems in athletes, including “weekend warriors”. Orthopedics doctors often see patients for concerns such as overuse injuries. A sudden movement or repeated movements can strain or sprain one of the body’s many ligaments, such as the soft tissues of the back. An increasingly common cause of these soft tissue injuries is wearing heavy backpacks loaded with athletic equipment and supplies.
Sprains and strains are also common in the ankles of athletes. A poor landing while jumping, slipping or tripping over a tree root or curb, or falling over a ball or hole can cause the ankle’s supporting tendons and ligaments to experience small tears.
Shoulder injuries such as strained or torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles are also common in athletes. Repetitive motions such as pitching a ball or swinging a golf club can cause small tears that become inflamed and painful. Other shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff injuries, are also common. This painful condition often results from repeated overhead arm motions, such as swimming, weight lifting, or throwing a ball.
Physical therapy overseen by an orthopedic specialist can help athletes to regain strength and learn proper posture for activities. Anti-inflammatory medications can also reduce pain and swelling in the shoulder. In some cases, surgery is needed in order to repair a torn rotator cuff.
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it is used in nearly every athletic pursuit. Its size and frequency of use mean that the knee is prone to a variety of orthopedic problems. The knee also sticks out quite a bit when it is bent, which also makes it an easy target for injuries.
Fractures and dislocations of the knee are some of the most common orthopedic problems in this joint. The patella, or knee cap, is the most affected bone that can develop fractures and dislocations. The anterior cruciate ligament experiences frequent injuries in sports such as soccer, football, and baseball. Overuse injuries can wear away the cartilage of the knee, causing arthritis. A torn meniscus or tendon is also common during twisting or pivoting activities.