Sports injuries can no doubt be a major setback for athletes. It negatively impacts both their performance and overall well-being. However, thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are minimally invasive orthopedic procedures that treat these injuries effectively. These procedures not only minimize the damage to surrounding tissues but also offer quicker recovery times compared to traditional open surgeries.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common minimally invasive orthopedic procedures used to treat sports injuries.
Arthroscopy: A Window into the Joint
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive orthopedic surgery that allows doctors to visualize and treat problems inside a joint. It involves creating small incisions, so they can insert a small camera called an arthroscope.
This camera provides a clear view of the damaged area on a monitor, enabling the surgeon to perform necessary repairs.
Arthroscopy is commonly used for knee, shoulder, hip, and ankle injuries, such as torn ligaments, cartilage damage, and joint instability.
This procedure reduces scarring, pain, and recovery time compared to traditional, open surgeries.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy is a cutting-edge treatment that utilizes the healing properties of a patient’s own blood.
During this procedure, a small sample of the patient’s blood is drawn and processed to separate the platelets. These platelets, rich in growth factors, are then injected into the injured area, stimulating tissue regeneration and accelerating the healing process.
PRP therapy is commonly used for tendon and ligament injuries, such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, and rotator cuff tears.
This minimally invasive procedure offers a safe and effective alternative to more invasive surgical options.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is an innovative approach to treating sports injuries by utilizing the body’s own regenerative capabilities.
In this procedure, stem cells are harvested from the patient’s bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat) and then injected into the injured area. These cells have the remarkable ability to differentiate into different types of cells, promoting tissue repair and regeneration.
Stem cell therapy is commonly used for conditions like:
- Tendon and ligament injuries
- Cartilage damage
This minimally invasive procedure holds great promise in improving recovery outcomes for athletes.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that provides relief from chronic pain caused by certain sports injuries.
It involves the use of radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy targeted nerve tissues responsible for transmitting pain signals. RFA is commonly used for conditions like chronic back pain, tennis elbow, and joint pain.
This procedure offers patients a significant reduction in pain and improved function with minimal downtime compared to more invasive surgical options.
When to Visit an Orthopedic Sports Medicine Provider for Your Injury
Sports injuries can vary in severity, and it’s crucial to seek appropriate medical attention to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. While some injuries may heal with rest and self-care, others may require the expertise of an orthopedic sports medicine provider.
Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to visit a specialist:
Persistent Pain or Swelling
If you experience persistent pain or swelling that doesn’t improve with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), it could be a sign of a more significant issue.
Orthopedic sports medicine providers are trained to:
- Evaluate and diagnose the underlying cause of your pain
- Recommend appropriate treatment options to alleviate your symptoms
Decreased Range of Motion or Function
If you notice a significant decrease in your range of motion or function following a sports injury, it may be an indication of a more severe problem.
Orthopedic specialists can assess the extent of your injury and develop a personalized treatment plan to help restore your mobility and functionality.
Instability or Joint Laxity
If you experience joint instability or a feeling of the joint “giving way” during physical activity, it’s important to consult with an orthopedic sports medicine provider.
These symptoms can signify ligamentous or structural damage that may require specialized treatment, such as surgical intervention or rehabilitation exercises.
Inability to Bear Weight or Use the Affected Body Part
When an injury prevents you from bearing weight or using the affected body part, it may indicate a fracture, severe sprain, or other significant damage.
Orthopedic sports medicine providers have the expertise to evaluate the extent of your injury through:
- Physical examination
- Imaging tests
- Diagnostic procedures
They can then recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity and nature of your injury.
Recurring or Chronic Pain
If you’re experiencing recurring or chronic pain in a specific area, it’s important to consult with an orthopedic sports medicine provider.
They can determine the underlying cause of your pain and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to manage and alleviate your symptoms.
Difficulty Returning to Sports or Physical Activities
Is it challenging to return to your desired level of sports play or physical activity after an injury? If so, seeking guidance from an orthopedic sports medicine provider is advisable.
These specialists understand the demands that sports place on the body and can create a structured rehabilitation program tailored to your needs.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine Doctor in St. Peters, O’Fallon & Wentzville, MO
Minimally invasive orthopedic procedures have revolutionized the treatment of sports injuries, offering athletes the opportunity to recover quickly and get back in the game. Whether it’s arthroscopy, PRP therapy, stem cell therapy, or radiofrequency ablation, these procedures provide effective solutions while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.
The Advanced Bone & Joint providers are just who you’re looking for if you need the best orthopedic sports medicine doctors in Missouri. Call us today at (636) 229-4222 or submit an online request form to schedule an appointment with the top orthopedic surgeon near you.
We look forward to serving you!