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IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE : All AICA Orthopedics clinics are fully staffed and operational. We’re here to support accident victims and to provide Orthopedic relief to hospital systems in Atlanta during this crisis. Learn More

Orthopedic Treatment and Sports Medicine for Athletes

When it comes to sports medicine, prevention is at the forefront of this specialty, as well as diagnosing and treating sports-related injuries. With the evolution of sports medicine and its increase in popularity over the last decade, advancements within conservative and surgical treatment options allow athletes to rely on sports medicine as a means for overcoming acute injuries, as well as those that stem from chronic fatigue.

Most sports medicine doctors specialize in other fields, as sports medicine is not a dedicated focus. Those who practice internal medicine, emergency medicine, and family medicine can receive specialized training to help those affected by sports-related injuries. Some doctors who decide to explore sports medicine may also specialize in the treatment of children and teens, whose bodies are drastically different from that of an adult. Many doctors who practice sports medicine are trained in orthopedic care and are board-certified surgeons.

Training for Sports Medicine Doctors

  • A fellowship in sports medicine must be completed which takes an additional two years of training.
  • Must pass a certified exam at the national level as well as hold a certificate in Sports Medicine which is an added qualification.
  • Must continue growth and education by participating in medical education activities and being re-examined every ten years.

Leaders In The Field of Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine is a recognized subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties and by Medicare. Other professionals who are not doctors may work in conjunction with a sports medicine doctor to provide care:

  • Physical therapy allows patients to rehabilitate following injury or surgery.
  • An athletic trainer can provide athletes with the proper exercise routines to avoid injury as well as help to develop strength and flexibility.
  • A nutritionist is a person who provides support as well as guidance in regards to their dietary intake as well as improving the physical functions of the body.

Why Should You See A Sports Medicine Physician?

An athlete performs best on the field and when they are sidelined due to injury, their whole life can change. Our team of doctors composed of therapists, trainers, and orthopedic specialists strives to keep our athletes off the sidelines and in the game through prevention methods and rehabilitation techniques.

What Injuries Are Treated By Sports Medicine Doctors?

  • Ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Knee and shoulder injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Exercise-induced asthma
  • Heat illness
  • Concussions
  • Eating disorders
  • Cartilage injuries
  • ACL Tear
  • MCL Tear
  • Meniscus Tear
  • Broken Collarbone
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Fractures
  • Turf Toe
  • Shoulder Fractures
  • Other Athletic Shoulder Injuries
  • Other Athletic Elbow Injuries

Sports Medicine Also Supports A Diet, Exercise

Aside from treating an injury and providing prevention education, sports medicine doctors also provide helpful advice on proper nutrition, vitamin supplements, and exercise. So, how are sports medicine doctors and orthopedic doctors different? Sports medicine is a noninvasive approach to medicine providing athletes with ways to manage the pain and discomfort of an injury through nonsurgical practices. Orthopedic specialists may specialize in surgery and focus more on the surgical aspects of treatment rather than a more conservative approach.

Common examples of musculoskeletal problems include:

  • Ankle sprains, muscle strains, knee & shoulder injuries, and fractures are all acute injuries.
  • Overuse injuries (such as rotator cuff and other forms of tendonitis, stress fractures)

In addition to their training on the musculoskeletal system, sports medicine doctors receive additional training in non-musculoskeletal injuries such as:

  • Head injuries such as concussions
  • Acute illnesses suffered by athletes such as asthma and diabetes.
  • Nutrition, supplements and performance issues
  • Exercise plans for those who want to increase their fitness
  • Injury prevention education
  • “Return to play” decisions in the sick or injured athlete
  • Education on strength training and conditioning workouts
  • Promoting healthy choices

When To Seek Help

If your child sustains an injury on the field, seek medical care right away, either in the emergency room or at orthopedic urgent care if they present with the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Inability to put weight on the injured area

Contact AICA Orthopedics For Treatment and Peak Performance

If your child does not present with these symptoms, provide them with the rest they need and contact your Atlanta orthopedic doctor for guidance or possibly a referral to a sports medicine specialist.

As many sports injuries do not require surgery, conservative treatment approaches are often the best medicine. Treating sports injuries can range from rest, medications to immobilizing the injured area. In the event that a tear in the tissue is present or bones need to be realigned, surgery may be required.

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