Sports injuries are injuries that occur during training or participating in sport. Most sports injuries recover by themselves with time off sport, treatment with analgesia, splinting or strapping and physiotherapy. Common sports injuries that orthopaedic surgeons care for include tendon and ligament tears and fractures. Common sites include the hip, knee, ankle shoulder and elbow.
Common injuries to the hip include stress fractures and tears of the surround soft tissue structures. Initial treatment typical involves rest, analgesia and physiotherapy.
Ligament injuries of the knee are very common in Australia, especially since we play so much sport. The ACL has a very poor ability to heal and if damaged usually results in instability of the knee. This can lead to further damage and early arthritis.
Meniscal injuries typically result in mechanical symptoms such as clicking, catching and locking. Treatment involves removing the damaged part of the meniscus or repairing it.
Sprains and some fractures of the ankle can be treated non-operatively. Physiotherapy, bracing and orthotics are usually the first treatment. Most fractures and sprains that result in ankle instability require surgery.
Sports related shoulder injuries include tendon tears, problems with the biceps tendon, acromioclavicular (AC) joint and labrum. Many shoulder problems can be treated with physiotherapy but those that do not respond typically benefit from surgery.
All sports injuries require first aid. For musculoskeletal injuries this is immobilisation and analgesia. An examination is done to determine the nature of the injury and basic investigations such as an x-ray or ultrasound are then done. Specialist orthopaedic evaluation is required for severe injuries.