Injuries during sports are inevitable, and the shoulder, arm, wrist, elbow, hand, and fingers can be particularly vulnerable to repetitive-motion injuries and forceful impacts. If you get seriously injured in any of these parts of your body, it is time to visit a doctor with expertise in sports injuries.
Sports medicine doctors are fully equipped to diagnose and treat a range of different sports injuries and conditions that affect bones, joints, tendons, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and other connective tissue. They are highly specialized in diagnosing and treating sports related injuries allowing you to get back in the game They are likewise fully up-to-date on the latest nonsurgical and surgical treatments, including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, advanced technology for fracture care, microvascular surgery, endoscopic surgery, and plastic surgery.
Sports Related Injuries
There are two types of upper extremity injury:
- Acute or sudden injuries, caused by an accident or direct trauma
- Overuse injuries which occur over time and are caused by repetitive motion
Sports medicine doctors treat injuries and conditions that may be due to injury on the field, overtraining, overuse injuries, or accidents. Certain sports can increase the chance of injury, especially ones that involve repetitive motions such as tennis, golf, and baseball. These movements can put a lot of stress on the upper extremity primarily the shoulder, elbow, or wrist. An acute injury such as a fracture is often caused by a forceful impact like a fall or direct trauma. Fractures are categorized by the type of break and the severity of the injury.
Upper extremity injuries associated with sports include:
Wrist, Hand, and Finger injuries
Injuries can occur as a result of damage to any of the structures within the hand, leading to pain, inflammation, bruising and other symptoms. Common causes of hand injuries can include a knock or direct blow to the hand or fingers, landing on your hand during a fall, jamming a finger, or bending the fingers or wrist too far backwards. Common hand injuries can include: fractures, nerve injuries, tendon injuries, and hand dislocations.
Overuse injuries can cause damage to muscles, tendons, or nerves in the hand and lead to pain, weakness, and reduced mobility.
Elbow injuries are particularly common while playing tennis, golf, and pitching in baseball (pitcher’s elbow). These repetitive-motion injuries put excessive strain on the tendons and ligaments in the elbow, causing them to stretch, tear, or pull away from the bone. Repetitive motions, muscle overuse, and cumulative stress can overtime, cause tendons around the elbow to deteriorate.
Shoulder injuries are common during sports involving overhead throwing motion. Rotator cuff tears are a common injury during certain sports, such as pitching in baseball or playing tennis, and a major source of shoulder pain. The aging process increases the risk of rotator cuff tears because the tendons and muscles degenerate and weaken over time, but sudden shoulder movements, a fall, or overuse can also cause this type of injury.
Treating Sports Related Injuries
If you have been injured, a sports medicine doctor will perform a physical exam and may order diagnostic imaging tests such as Xray, MRI, or CT scans to accurately assess the extent of the injury.
The type of treatment required, will depend on the diagnosis and severity of the condition or injury. A sports medicine doctor will often design a personalized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs which may include non-surgical treatment modalities such as; hand therapy, physical/occupational therapy, medication, injections, splinting and casting, and activity modification. Surgery may be recommended if non-surgical treatments prove unsuccessful or if there has been significant damage which requires repair.
Sports Medicine Physicians in Maryland
If you have a sports related injury, Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder is fully equipped to diagnose and treat the full range of shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand, and finger injuries associated with sports. For more information or to book a consultation, call us today at (410) 296-6232 or request an appointment online at one of our Maryland locations.