Playing the sport you love is likely a big part of your life. However, if you sustain a sports or exercise-related injury, you could be sidelined indefinitely. Preventing any injury is a high priority, so be sure to stretch and warm up, wear proper protective equipment, wear well-fitting shoes appropriate for your sport, and stay well-hydrated. However, sometimes even doing everything correctly can’t protect you from injuries. If you do sustain an injury, the worst thing to do is neglect getting treatment.
Your sports medicine doctor wants you to understand the consequences of not treating an injury right away and how to proceed if you do sustain one.
What Is a Sports Injury?
The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that almost 3 million injuries happen at athletic fields, playgrounds, and other sports-related facilities each year in the United States. While the ankle sprain is the most common injury, there are numerous other types of injuries related to:
- Hard impacts
- Twisting motions
A sports injury may occur suddenly – such as a concussion, bone fracture, or torn Achilles tendon. This is called an acute injury. It typically involves muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, or some combination of these musculoskeletal components.
Other injuries may be chronic, or cumulative, as with shin splints, ankle instability, bursitis, runner’s knee, and stress fractures. Sadly, while causing dramatic symptoms right away, repetitive motion injuries can lead to pain and weakness over the long term.
Consequences of Not Treating a Sports Injury
In our Austin office, our sports medicine doctor diagnoses and treats all types of sports injuries, including some of the most complex issues. While stabilizing an ankle sprain with rest, ice, compression bandaging, and elevation (the RICE protocol) is important, it may not effectively address the root cause of your injury in many cases.
Accordingly, inattention to any sports injury may result in:
- Additional pain and swelling
- Joint deformity
- Muscle, nerve, tendon, and ligament degradation (in structure and usefulness)
- Blood clots
- Prolonged or limited recovery
- Inability to maintain a suitable level of physical endurance and muscular strength
- Limitations in ability to participate in a favorite sport or exercise activity
When To See Your Sports Medicine Doctor in Austin, TX
As with any acute or chronic health problem, common sense should prevail. If you have pain, swelling, or other symptoms that persist or worsen beyond a few days, please see your sports physician right away. Dr. Hyde will examine your injury, assess your symptoms, and take digital imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scan, or MRI, as needed. Then, she will recommend treatments that will stabilize and repair your injury.
If you need surgery or other interventions to heal your injury, rest assured that Dr. Hyde is fellowship-trained in sports medicine. She performs joint reconstruction and replacement, when warranted, and uses innovative treatments, such as stem cell and platelet-rich plasma therapies, as needed.
All-Star Orthopedics of Austin
At All-Star Orthopedics, we provide exceptional orthopedic care for patients of all ages. Our focus is on improving your musculoskeletal health, function, and longevity. We want to do everything possible to improve your health and athletic performance.
If you suffered a sports injury, please contact us at (512) 346-4933 for a consultation with Dr. Hyde, or request an appointment online.