Statistics show that more that more than 30,000 high school athletes are hospitalized each year for sports-related injuries. Out of the more than two million injuries reported each year, another 500,000 require treatment at a doctor’s office or medical clinic.
Given the frequency with which athletes are hurt while playing sports each year, one of the foremost steps that they are reminded to take before the start of a season involves undergoing a complete orthopedic sports evaluation.
- Thousands of athletes are injured each year.
- The likelihood of injuries can be reduced by periodic orthopedic sports evaluations.
Common Orthopedic Sports Injuries
Athletes may find themselves at risk of suffering any number of orthopedic injuries while they are competing. Some of the more common physical damages experienced by competitors include:
- Sprained ankles
- Torn ACLs
- Dislocated joints
- Pulled groin muscles
- Strained hamstrings
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow
These injuries are relatively minor and can be treated with rest, over-the-counter or prescription medications, compression, splinting, and other non-invasive measures. However, athletes who suffer compound bone fractures or severe dislocations of their knees, shoulders, hips, and other joints may need to undergo surgery to repair the damages.
Orthopedic sports injuries are painful and can compromise a player’s ability to live normally. It is important for athletes to appreciate the purpose of undergoing a complete orthopedic sports evaluation before the start of the season.
Orthopedic Sports Evaluations
A sports evaluation for orthopedics is different than a regular checkup or physical. This examination closely scrutinizes the health of the athlete and aims to prevent him or her from being hurt during the sports season.
The exam starts with the doctor checking the person for overall good health. The physician will make sure the athlete does not suffer from an illness like the flu or bronchitis that could delay his or her participation in the sport. The doctor will also look for signs of more serious illnesses like leukemia or anemia.
The exam also serves to identify any new or existing conditions that could result in the athlete being injured. For example, if the student suffered a torn ACL last season, he or she could be at risk of suffering the same injury again. The doctor will make sure the injury is fully healed and that the affected area is properly conditioned.
Finally, the orthopedic doctor will determine the overall pre-participation conditioning of the athlete and decide if he or she is in strong enough shape to avoid being injured during the season. If the student is not yet strong enough or not yet in good enough shape, he or she may be advised to work out and condition a bit more before taking part in the sport. This recommendation could help him or her from being injured.
Complications of Orthopedic Sports Injuries
It is important that athletes take heed of the doctor’s recommendations after the sports evaluation. If they disregard the orthopedic advice they receive, they could not only increase the likelihood of the athlete being injured. They also could invite complications from the injuries like:
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Blood clots
- Loss of mobility