People who lead active lives know that no matter how careful we are, we can’t prevent every injury. Runners, in particular, are prone to injuries to the knees, legs, and feet. While many of these injuries aren’t severe, and we can address them with home remedies, some injuries need attention from a medical expert.
What Is An Orthopedic Doctor?
An orthopedic doctor, or an orthopedist, specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system. This system is composed of bones and supporting structures like muscles, joints, ligaments, and other soft tissues. Orthopedists use various approaches to treat musculoskeletal issues, including surgical and nonsurgical methods to treat sports injuries, joint pain, and running injuries.
Some orthopedic doctors elect to become sports medicine doctors. They specialize in injuries and health concerns specific to athletes and anyone living an active lifestyle. While sports medicine doctors typically cater to athletes, anyone looking to improve their fitness and physical performance or needing assistance with a sports injury can consult one.
What Type Of Running Injuries Does An Orthopedic Doctor Treat?
If you get a sports injury, you’ll likely be able to treat it at home. However, the more severe ones will need to be examined by an orthopedic doctor. It’s best to consult a healthcare provider when experiencing pain or discomfort in your joints or muscles.
Here are some of the most common running injuries and conditions that need an orthopedic doctor’s attention:
- Stress fractures A fracture may be a partial or a complete break in the bone. Fractures may result from falls, accidents, and physical trauma due to the direct impact on the body. For example, running may cause a bone fracture due to the repetitive force and pressure on specific parts of the body, such as the feet. That is called a stress fracture. The bones in the feet and the legs are at the most risk of stress fractures.
- Achilles tendinitis The Achilles tendon is the fibrous tissue band that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It supports the ankle, thus, it can get inflamed when the feet and ankle are overused. Runners are the most common people diagnosed with this condition.
- Meniscus tears This knee injury involves the twisting or breaking of the protective cartilage in the knee. This condition is usually a result of an abrupt change in the direction of the person’s knee while running.
- Runner’s knee Runner’s knee is also called patellofemoral pain (PFP) syndrome. This injury manifests as pain in the kneecap. It affects the patella, where the knee connects to the thigh bone.
- Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome This injury involves the inflammation of the tendon called the iliotibial band. This tendon connects to the top of the pelvic bone to the knee. The inflammation is due to the non-stop rubbing of the tendon to the knee or the hipbone, causing irritation.
- Shin splints Shin splints is also known as medial tibial stress syndrome. This is a condition that refers to the pain experienced along the large bone of the front lower leg, called the tibia.
- Hamstring injuries A hamstring is a group of muscles found at the back of the thighs. Pulling one of the three muscle groups while running is painful and can cause a hamstring injury.
- Plantar fasciitis This condition is the inflammation of the fascia. It is a band of muscle that connects the heel bone to the toes. It usually presents as a stabbing pain in the middle of the foot, particularly right after getting out of bed in the morning.
- Ankle sprain Ankle sprains typically occur when a person accidentally twists or rolls their ankle. It involves stretching and injuring the ankle ligaments, causing pain and inflammation.
The kind of treatment you will receive from your orthopedic doctor will depend on what you injured and the severity of your injury. For example, a stress fracture might only need rest, splinting, and physical therapy, while a meniscus tear may require surgery.
Orthopedic Doctors in Austin, TX
Running injuries may be common, but no one should disregard them or understate their impact. An injury may lead to a series of complications if left untreated. It is best to seek expert medical attention immediately to avoid more serious injuries.
If you’re looking for a place to get your orthopedic health assessed, look no further than All-Star Orthopedics of Austin. Our lead orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Carolyn Hyde, together with our expert team of healthcare providers, can provide you with the highest quality orthopedic care.
If you wish to know more about us and our services, feel free to check-in online or call us at (512) 346-4933. You can also secure an appointment by using our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!