If you’re the parent of an athlete, you probably know the fear and stress that results when your child experiences a sports-related injury. Whether it’s a scraped knee, Achilles tendon rupture, a torn ACL, or a football injury, all you want to do is help–and you might not be sure how. That’s why so many athletic programs place a strong emphasis on injury prevention and it’s also why Yankton Medical Clinic orthopedic services are here for parents when those injuries occur.
Common Sports-Related Injuries
Whether you’re an athlete who has experienced a torn ligament or a concerned parent trying to arrange care, your goal will be the same: healthy healing and a return to action. Some of the most common sports-related injuries include the following.
You may have experienced a sprained ankle when you landed on your foot wrong or rolled your ankle during an athletic event. One of the most common sports-related injuries, an ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments around the ankle joint tear or become hyperextended. Sprains can vary in severity from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the ligament damage. Sprains can take between 2-12 weeks to fully heal.
What should you do? If you can take a few steps on your sprained ankle with minimal discomfort, you’ll probably be able to let it heal on its own. But if you have trouble putting weight on the joint or the pain is significant, medical attention from an orthopedic physician may be required. If your injury occurred after office hours, you can be treated by our Convenient Care after-hours services.
A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can occur in athletes of any sport, though it’s commonly associated with soccer and football injuries. The ACL connects the knee to the shin bone, so a tear of the ligament can be pretty scary–both for athletes and for parents. Typically, when this injury occurs, an athlete will hear a “pop” or “snap,” followed by localized pain. Athletes may be able to walk with a torn ACL, but not without discomfort, and athletic performance will be severely impaired. An ACL tear is a long term injury, but a full recovery is possible.
What should you do? A torn ACL will require immediate medical attention, possibly even surgery. Ignoring a torn ACL could exacerbate the injury and make a full recovery impossible. Visit our clinics in Vermillion, Yankton or Norfolk, NE to be evaluated for your ACL injury as soon as possible.
For parents and athletes alike, concussions can be among the most stressful and most alarming sports injuries. Concussions can impact memory, the ability to concentrate, mobility, and more. In many cases, signs of a concussion will be immediately noticeable, and many high impact sports have developed concussion protocols designed to test for this injury.
However, a medical diagnosis is always required. A concussion can be a long term injury, and it’s essential to have your child evaluated as quickly as possible. Symptoms of a concussion could include: Headache, confusion, fatigue, blackout, ringing in the ears, nausea, or vomiting. For parents, this can be quite alarming to witness!
What should you do? Concussions are the most common traumatic brain injury suffered in the United States. If you suspect your child has experienced a concussion, evaluation and treatment are essential. Services are available at both our Vermillion and Yankton Medical Clinics.
Overuse Sports Injury
Conditions such as Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) or Patellofemoral syndrome (knee pain) are injuries typically caused by overuse. In tennis elbow, the ligaments in the joint are worn down by repetitive motion. In the case of Patellofemoral syndrome, the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged due to overuse. Both injuries are less common in youthful athletes, but they can still occur, especially during active seasons and without adequate downtime. What’s more, youthful athletes tend to be more determined to ignore an overuse injury, so parents and health care providers will have to closely monitor progress.
What should you do? For most cases of overuse, the recommendation will be simple: rest! You should immediately give your elbow or knee some time to mend. In some cases, a brace may help with discomfort. In severe cases, more extensive treatment may be required. We offer orthopedic services for overuse injuries at our Vermillion, Yankton, and Norfolk, NE locations.
Offering Treatment and Prevention for Sports-Related Injuries
If you have questions about treating or preventing a sports-related orthopedic injury, contact our offices to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kudera at our Yankton orthopedic services clinic focuses on specifically these types of injuries, so he’ll be able to help your student-athlete get healthy and get back in the game!