Sports Medicine

Whether you have suffered an injury while playing your favorite sport, engaging in physical activity or running after your toddler on the playground—you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports medicine at Saint Francis Healthcare.

Your Community Partner in Comprehensive Orthopedic Care

Don’t let a torn ligament, sprain or the need to restore mobility and agility stand in the way of living the healthy, happy lifestyle you want.

Our team of sports medicine physicians, nurses, physical therapists and rehabilitation staff at Saint Francis Hospital in Bartlett can help you explore surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. When you come to us for help, we will find personalized orthopedic care to reduce or manage your pain.

We take a multidisciplinary approach to ensure you get continuity of care from consultation throughout your treatment plan. We offer a range of advanced technology and techniques, so you can get the exceptional care you deserve.

If medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation fail, we can provide minimally invasive orthopedic procedures so you can heal faster with minimal scarring, less pain and faster recovery.

What Is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that specializes in the management and treatment of a range of complex and chronic musculoskeletal injuries and medical problems resulting from sporting activity.

The following medical specialties play an important role in comprehensive sports medicine:

  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Occupational medicine
  • Primary care
  • Public health medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Neurology

Sports medicine uses scientific research and exercise as a therapeutic modality to optimize performance, help patients and athletes recover from injury and prevent future injuries.

What Does a Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon Do?

Sports medicine orthopedic surgeons treat problems of the musculoskeletal system sustained from training, sports activity and exercise, which involve:

  • Diagnosing injuries or disorders
  • Treating with medication, exercise, casting, surgery or other options
  • Rehabilitating through exercise or physical therapy to restore movement, strength and function
  • Preventing injuries through information and treatment plans to slow down the progression of a disease

They may specialize in certain areas, such as the foot and ankle, spine, shoulder, hand, hip or knee.

What Are the Five Most Common Sports Injuries?

Sports and exercising are good for you, but an accident, poor training practices or improper gear can cause sports injuries. Skipping warm-up exercises and stretching can also lead to injuries. Some of the most common sports injuries include the following:

  • Sprain - falling, twisting or getting hit can cause a sprain. A sprain refers to a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect bones at a joint. Sprains usually occur in the ankles and wrists.
  • Strain – a stretched or torn muscle or tendon is called a strain. Tendons are tissue that connects muscle to bone. When these tissues are twisted or pulled, it can cause pain, muscle spasms, swelling and difficulty moving the affected muscles. Strains are most common in the back and hamstring muscles.
  • Knee injuries – when any bone, cartilage, ligaments, fluid, muscles or tendons are hurt or worn away, it can cause pain and difficulty walking. The most common knee injury occurs in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), caused by a sudden twisting motion.
  • Rotator cuff injuries - the rotator cuff stabilizes and enables the shoulders to move. The most common rotator cuff injuries are tendonitis, bursitis and tears. Jobs requiring repeated overhead motion, aging and overuse can tear and damage the rotator cuff.
  • Fractures - a fracture refers to a break or tiny cracks in a bone. Aside from sports injuries, other causes of fractures include low bone density, osteoporosis or accidents. An open or compound fracture occurs if the broken bone punctures the skin.

Sports Injury Treatment

The RICE method is often the first treatment for sports injuries to relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed up healing. Other treatment options include pain relievers, rehabilitation or surgery. RICE stands for

R – rest
I – ice
C – compression
E - elevation&

Contact a healthcare provider if there are no signs of improvement after performing the RICE method.

Sports Injuries We Treat at Saint Francis Healthcare

We offer a wide variety of sports medicine treatments to address common orthopedic conditions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Concussion
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stress fracture
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Tendonitis

When to Call an Orthopedic Doctor

Seek medical attention right away if you get hurt while participating in a sport or while exercising. Continuing to play or exercise can cause more harm. Call a doctor when you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that gets worse when doing activities
  • Swelling in the injured area
  • Limping
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain that continues even with rest then gets worse at times or lasts for a week or more following an injury
  • Lose consciousness

Schedule an Appointment

The first step to treating sports injuries is knowing where you are on your journey.

Our goal is to help you get the quality care you deserve through compassionate service combined with the advanced technology and procedures available here in Bartlett. Speak with one of our sports medicine physicians to learn more about your condition and treatment options. To schedule an appointment, please fill out this form or call 901-820-7000, and we will connect you to our nearest healthcare provider in your area.

Insurances Accepted and Payment Plan Options

We have dedicated staff available to address your questions and help you make financial arrangements so you can get the care you need at Saint Francis Healthcare. We accept a variety of insurance plans and offer options for payment plan flexibility. For questions about your coverage, please contact your insurance provider directly review the billing and insurance page.

Find an Orthopedic Doctor in Bartlett 

Your health should not have to wait.

The Saint Francis Healthcare rehabilitation team is ready to help you overcome challenges after orthopedic surgery, neck and back injuries, stroke, difficulty with mobility or falls. We also provide physical therapy for wound care.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from an undiagnosed condition or injury, speak with one of our sports medicine physicians at Saint Francis Healthcare for proper diagnosis and advice on the best treatment options for your situation. If it is an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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Long Term Effects of Sports Injuries

Just when the days of pushing our bodies are long gone, that’s when the past may catch up with us. There have been numerous studies surrounding the long-term effect of sports injuries. But you don’t need scientific data to show you that what you’re feeling probably didn’t happen overnight — wear and tear often compounds the injury. If you have experienced any type of sports injury, you owe it to your present and future body to be extra vigilant about some warning signs. Here are six common injuries and the effects that can occur years later:

  1. Sprain. Serious or minor, a sprain happens as a result of stress to the ligaments or joints. It is one of the most common sports-related injuries so we really don’t tend to give it the attention it deserves. The most common effect is vulnerability to reoccurrence of the sprain in the same spot. If the sprain happened to the ankle, you risk ankle “instability.”
  2. Hamstring strain. The hamstrings are tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to the thighbone. Recurrent hamstring injuries can affect your mobility and your flexibility. If you continually hurt your hamstrings doing something such as sprinting or jumping, you need consider retiring from that activity to save yourself some pain in the future.
  3. Stress fracture. This is another sports injury that doesn’t garner the automatic attention it should. Stress fractures occur in weight-bearing areas and once they happen, they are likely to repeat in that same place. Stress fractures that aren’t properly managed can lead to larger, harder-to heal stress fractures, or even chronic problems such as pain or discomfort in your daily life.
  4. ACL injury. An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is the over-stretching or tearing the ligament in the knee. It is most commonly torn in sports that involve sudden stops, jumping or changes in direction — including as basketball, football, skiing or tennis. Depending on the severity of your ACL injury, rehabilitation or surgery is the prescribed treatment.
  5. Meniscus tear. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your thighbone and shinbone. The constant rubbing of a torn meniscus on the surrounding cartilage may cause wear and tear on the surface, leading to degeneration of the joint. Over time, this can compromise your mobility and cause chronic pain.
  6. Fracture. A broken bone may cause swelling, obvious bruising and tenderness around the injured area. Unlike some stress fractures (through some may require a cast), a traditional fracture must be set with a cast. Repeated injuries to the same bone will increase your chance of arthritis in future.

While sports absolutely have many positives, no one can deny the toll the physical pounding can take on the body. Common sense is essential. Treating your injuries as soon as they occur is crucial, as is allow your injury to fully heal before getting back in the game. There is the pressure to get back in the game and not let your teammates down, or if you’re a runner, to get back to your personal best, but slow down - it will only help you in the future. Plus, your future body will thank you.