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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Prevent Sports Injuries with These Seven Tips

Whether you’ve joined a softball league or are signing up for your next race, the possibility of injury from the sport is not often top of mind—though it probably should be. According to the National Safety Council, more than 7 million sports and recreational injuries resulted in emergency room visits in 2017, the latest year on record. Often, people become injured by doing too much too soon, not being informed on proper techniques and not being physically prepared for the level of intensity of a sport. Keep your body in check, and learn how to prevent sports injuries with these seven tips.

  1. Take breaks. Yes, it’s ok to take five. Taking short breaks during playtime can reduce your chance of injury, allow your muscles to rest and prevent heat-related illnesses.
  2. Wear the right shoes and appropriate gear. Beyond ensuring that your shoes are right for the activity, how they fit is dually important. Since feet swell during exercise, try shoes that are a little larger than the size you normally wear. Having about a half centimeter of space between your big toe and the end of the shoe is a good indicator of proper fit.
  3. Stretch and condition. Preparation is key in so many aspects of life, including physical activity. Be good to your body by stretching and conditioning. It increases flexibility and strengthens muscles. Plus, developing your balance and coordination can help mitigate the risk of ankle sprains.
  4. Follow proper techniques. Learning how to play correctly is so important. Whether it’s the correct stance, the right gait or even a specialized way of breathing, your body will thank you for being smart about the game.
  5. Stay hydrated. Dehydration results from the loss of fluid and electrolytes from sweat, causing fatigue, soreness, cramps and spasms. To support nerve and muscle function, always remember to keep water on hand.
  6. Warm up and cool down. Wake up your muscles and tissues with a warm up. It dilates your blood vessels, supplying much-needed oxygen to your muscles. A cool down is just as important, as it allows your heart rate to slowly come down to normal and decreases the risk of cramping and stiffness.
  7. Don’t push it. If you already have an injury or are feeling pain while playing, stop. By not letting your body to heal properly, you’re risking a more serious injury and longer recovery.

Get out there and have fun, but always remember to check with your doctor before you begin a new sports routine.

Sources: National Safety Council, American Academy of Pediatrics