Sports Medicine and Winter Injuries

February 20th, 2023

When you are involved in sports, there are various types of sports injuries you may encounter. Sprains, strains, contusions, tears and fractures are very common.

Knee ligament tears and strains

The knee is the most common joint to be injured in high school athletes. Injuries can occur when there is a fall on the knee or the body is forced to move in an abnormal way. Knee injuries include sprains, strains, and fractures. Often the sprain or strain will be caused by overuse or stretching, but it can also be a result of a fall or accident. Depending on the type of injury, treatment may be non-surgical or surgical.

One of the most common knee ligaments to be injured is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament helps to stabilize the knee. However, an ACL tear can lead to instability and pain. Often, the ACL is torn when the knee is forced to twist in an unusual manner. While some knee ligaments can heal naturally; the ACL does not in most cases.

ACL reconstruction surgery

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, also called ACL reconstruction, is a surgery that rebuilds the knee's ligament to help it recover from a torn ACL. The goal is to allow the patient to return to competitive sports after a period of rehabilitation.

Most patients recover within nine months. However, some may take eight to twelve months. During this time, the patient should pursue a program of exercises to regain full muscle activation. ACL reconstruction involves grafts to replace the torn ligament. There are multiple types of grafts used. One is a patellar tendon graft, which is harvested from the patient's tendon below the knee cap. Alternatively, a graft may be taken from a donor, called an Allograft.

Broken bones

If you are a regular winter sports fan, you know that one of the biggest risks is broken bones. Although the majority of people do not suffer from this type of injury, it does happen. A broken bone is a serious injury that can require medical intervention.

The most common bone fractures include wrist, arm and ankle. These injuries can occur from a number of different sources, including trauma, repetitive stress or a single traumatic load causing a fracture. The best way to protect yourself from a fracture is to take the necessary precautions. Proper equipment, a good fall prevention plan and plenty of rest are essential. In the event that you do suffer a break, you should report your injury as soon as possible. You may need a cast or brace, or you might have to restrict your movements until it heals. You may also need surgery.

Muscle aches and pains

Muscle aches and pains are common with participating in sports, especially winter sports. There are ways to relieve them, from home remedies to professional help. But, if you feel the pain is severe, it is best to seek medical treatment.

Generally, achy joints are not harmful. However, they can be a warning of an underlying condition. For example, if you have a broken bone, you should see a doctor immediately. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure. Aches and pains can also be caused by stress, infection, or medications. You can use hot and cold treatments to soothe the discomfort.

Cold temperatures can lead to achy joints because they affect your body fluids and the nerve chemistry. These changes can cause swelling. As a result, you need to stay hydrated even if you don't feel thirsty.