Our sports medicine team can help you get back on the field, in the gym, or doing whatever it is that you love

At Phelps, we have the highest respect for athletes at every level. Even weekend warriors put their bodies through extreme stress for the sake of competition. Whether you need treatment for an injury or you’re looking for ways to prevent injury, our team can help. Athletes may be more likely to ignore aches and pains as normal side effects of activity, but leaving injuries untreated can increase the likelihood of developing chronic problems later on.

Our orthopedists are skilled in sports medicine and experienced in caring for a number of common sports injuries. They are experts in arthroscopy, labral repair, meniscectomy, tendon and ligament repair, rotator cuff repair, and numerous other surgical techniques.

Our state-of-the-art imaging technology allows us to quickly diagnose your injury, so your care team can determine a personalized treatment plan for you.

Some of the conditions treated by our sports medicine specialists include:

Injuries to the Achilles tendon occur during sports that call for quick bursts of speed or power in the legs. This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel and is crucial for walking, running, or rising onto the toes. Usually, a rupture can only be repaired by surgery.

This is one of the most common sports injuries, and can severely destabilize the knee. The ACL is one of four important ligaments connecting the thigh and lower leg. Injuries can range from a painful stretch to a full tear, and can be caused by trauma, sudden stopping or change in direction, or landing wrong after a jump.

Joint dislocation most commonly occurs in the shoulder, since it is the most vulnerable joint. Typically, the upper arm bone, or humerus, separates from the shoulder socket. This can affect the tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves surrounding the joint. This most often is the result of a fall, and sports such as rugby, football, hockey, skiing, and gymnastics carry a higher risk.

The labrum is a ring of soft tissue that lies around the rim of ball-and-socket joints. You have them in your hips and shoulders, and they are important for joint stability. They can sometimes tear due to trauma resulting from athletic activity, and surgery is often required to fix them.

The meniscus is a C-shaped cushion of cartilage between the bones of the knee that reduces impact and helps the joint move smoothly. It can be torn in a number of ways, both from sports injuries and wear over time. Often, a meniscectomy is the only way to repair a torn meniscus, although depending on the severity it can sometimes heal with conservative treatment.

This is a common injury among baseball players and swimmers, and is often seen in people over 40 because it is an overuse injury. The rotator cuff is a cluster of four muscles connecting the shoulder and the upper arm, and can tear after a fall, lifting a heavy object, or frequent overhead arm motion.

This is a very common sports injury, especially for runners and other athletes who experience stress in the lower leg area. Shin splints occur when the tendons around the lower leg bone, or tibia, become inflamed from repetitive stress. They can become painful but can usually be treated with ice and rest. They can sometimes be confused with stress fractures and other injuries, so you should consult an orthopedic surgeon.

Sometimes, before the rotator cuff tears, athletes can experience one of two types of shoulder impingement, which results from friction between the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade. The first type is bursitis, or inflammation of the shoulder bursae (fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction in the joint). The second is tendonitis, or inflammation of the tendons. These conditions can result in a torn rotator cuff if left untreated.

This is an overuse injury that usually occurs in people who are very physically active, but can also happen in non-athletes. Stress fractures are usually seen in weight-bearing bones in the legs and feet, and happen more often to Caucasians and women due to lower bone density. Cigarette smoking, poor nutrition, steroid use, or improper footwear can increase the risk of fracture.

Athletes who participate in tennis and other racquet sports can experience an overuse injury known as tennis elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons can become worn out or damaged from the repetitive motion associated with these sports. It has also been observed in frequent computer users as well, from repetitive keyboard and mouse usage.

Contact us today to schedule a sports medicine consultation.

Concussions can be scary—make sure you know the signs

A concussion may happen when you hit your head, causing the brain to collide with the inside of the skull. Since our brains are soft, this can cause damage and bruising. Concussions can happen from falls, heavy objects striking the skull, or collisions while playing sports. A helmet is not a guarantee that you will not get a concussion.

Athletes and people in danger of experiencing head injuries should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of a concussion so they may seek medical attention as soon as possible. Ignoring concussion symptoms or delaying treatment can lead to unnecessary complications down the road, like chronic headaches, dizziness, and vertigo. Playing sports with a concussion can result in repeated brain injuries, brain swelling, or permanent impairment.

children playing soccer

What are the signs?

Some common symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache or pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Fatigue/fogginess
  • Difficulty concentration/sudden short attention span
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality

More severe symptoms include repeated vomiting, loss of consciousness, confusion/disorientation, slurred speech, seizures, dilated or unequal sized pupils, large head bumps, or any symptoms that worsen over time. If you have any of these symptoms, seek emergency care immediately. Head to the Phelps Emergency Department or call 911.

Our doctors are experienced in identifying and treating all grades of concussion.