Sports medicine is a subspecialty of orthopedics that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries suffered during athletic activity. The goal of treatment is to heal and rehabilitate the injury so patients can return to their favorite activities quickly, whether it's Little League, recreational play or a high school, college or professional sport.
As with a sports team, there are many physicians who work together to help the patient regain maximum use of the injured limb or joint. "Players" on the team are typically the physician, orthopedic surgeon, rehabilitation specialist, athletic trainer and physical therapist – and the patient him/herself.
Common injuries treated include:
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and sometimes treat joint injuries and disease through small incisions in the skin. It is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT or X-rays. During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the problem area, allowing the doctor to examine the joint in great detail.
For some patients it is then possible to treat the problem using this approach or with a combination of arthroscopic and "open" surgery. Sports injuries are often repairable with arthroscopy. Tendon tears in the knee are frequently repaired in this way. Other potentially treatable injuries include torn cartilage or ligaments, inflamed joint lining, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and loose bone or cartilage.
Because it is minimally invasive, arthroscopy offers many benefits to the patient over traditional surgery:
Arthroscopy is not appropriate for every patient. Dr. Sumida will discuss the diagnostic and treatment options that are best for you.
Cartilage is the smooth coating on the end of the bones that provides cushioning and support for comfortable, fluid movement. Cartilage damage occurs as a result of injury, disease or degeneration and can lead to severe pain, stiffness and catching of the joint, and may eventually cause arthritis. The cartilage eventually wears away and leaves the bone unprotected. Fortunately, there are now several techniques used to repair damaged cartilage and restore normal movement.
Cartilage repair is a relatively new field and long-term results are still not proven. These repair procedures aim to restore movement with the best possible tissue and to prevent further cartilage damage. Two common procedures used in cartilage repair include:
Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation - This procedure takes a sample of healthy cartilage and multiplies it in large quantities outside the body before being implanted back onto the bone. This newly grown cartilage coats the bone and provides regained support.
Osteochondral Autograft Transplant (OATS) - This procedure takes healthy cartilage from another area of the bone that does not bear weight and transplants it to the damaged, weight-bearing area. This is used for smaller defects and involves filling holes with small transplant materials.
The results of these procedures may vary depending on each individual patient, but many are able to achieve significant symptom relief and a return to regular activities. Your doctor will decide which repair procedure is best for you.
Shoulder arthroscopy is often performed to confirm a diagnosis after a physical examination and other imaging procedures have been performed. Some conditions can also be treated during the same procedure by inserting a few additional instruments into the joint area.
Arthroscopy can be used to treat many conditions affect the shoulder joint. Shoulder arthroscopy, also known as shoulder scope, can be used to treat:
While arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open procedure, it is not for everybody. Some conditions, especially those that are not easily visible with the arthroscopic camera, may be better suited for traditional surgery. Your doctor will decide which type of procedure is right for you.
A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common knee injuries. An injury to this ligament causes the knee to become unstable and the joint to slide forward too much. ACL tears occur most often in athletes.
ACL reconstruction is usually not performed until several weeks after the injury, when swelling and inflammation have been reduced. The torn ligament is completely removed and replaced with a new ACL. Simply reconnecting the torn ends will not repair the ACL. Part of another ligament, usually in the knee or hamstring is used to create a graft for the new ACL. Choosing the proper type of graft depends on each patient's individual condition.
ACL surgery requires a few months for full recovery and physical rehabilitation will be needed as well. Surgery is not required for all ACL injuries. Talk to your doctor to discuss if it is the right option for you.