Every athlete knows that injuries are par for the course, and athletes generally decide that it’s worth the risk. After all, sports are fun, rewarding, and usually great for your overall health.
Injuries sustained while playing a sport are usually orthopedic, meaning musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and the related structures). Different sports have different risks, but there are a few that are common to virtually all athletes. Let’s talk about what those tend to be, and where you can go in Little Rock for outstanding sports medicine and orthopedic care.
Athletic Orthopedic Injuries Reported by Doctors
Some of the most common orthopedic injuries that happen to athletes include the following:
A sprain refers to the overstretching or, in worse cases, tearing of a ligament. A ligament is the fibrous band of tissue that holds two bones together in a joint.
Sprains commonly occur in the ankles, knees, wrists, or thumbs. You may sustain a sprain if you land on an uneven surface, pivot too quickly, or overextend your limbs. You may also get it from landing awkwardly or falling with your hand extended.
A fracture is a break in a bone. It’s called an open fracture if the bone pierces through your skin, or a closed fracture if it doesn’t. Here’s how fractures are further categorized:
- Stress fracture – Small cracks in a bone
- Incomplete/partial fracture – The bone doesn’t break across entirely
- Complete fracture – The bone splits into two or more sections
- Displaced fracture – The bone parts become misaligned at the break
3. ACL Tear
An ACL tear is the partial or complete tearing of your anterior cruciate ligament, which is the frontmost ligament in your knee. It’s key in controlling rotation, so this injury usually happens when athletes pivot quickly or land awkwardly from a jump.
4. Meniscus Tear
There are two moon-shaped sections of cartilage in each of your knees that act as buffers between your shinbone and thighbone. A torn meniscus usually occurs when you twist your knee farther than you should, or when you stop and change directions too quickly.
5. Rotator Cuff Injury
Your rotator cuff consists of the group of muscles and tendons supporting your shoulder. A tendon is the fibrous tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. As the name suggests, your rotator cuff is responsible for allowing your shoulder to rotate.
The most common rotator cuff injuries are rotator cuff tendonitis and rotator cuff tears. They tend to happen due to overuse or repeated overhead motions with the arms.
A dislocation is when a bone pops out of its socket. Dislocations are usually caused by falls or impacts to the concerned bone or its joint.
7. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue along the bottom of your foot gets inflamed, usually due to tiny tears or overstretching. This fibrous tissue supports your foot arch and connects your heel to your toes. The condition is frequently caused by putting too much stress on your feet or wearing shoes that don’t provide adequate support for your feet.
8. Achilles Tendonitis
When the tendon at the back of your heel becomes inflamed or irritated, this is Achilles tendonitis. That tendon enables you to stand, walk, jump, and run by raising your heel. This fibrous tissue is tough, but it can get injured from overuse, overstress, and sudden movements like stopping and moving again.
9. Muscle Strain
Also referred to as a pulled muscle, muscle strain refers to the overstretching or tearing of a muscle. It usually occurs from overuse or fatigue. The condition usually happens in your hamstring, neck, shoulders, or lower back.
10. Shin Splints
Shin splints are inflammation of the muscles and supportive structures in the lower leg area. The condition is also called medial tibial stress syndrome, and it is often caused by overexertion of the leg or an increase in the intensity of your workout.
Orthopedic Clinic in Little Rock, AR
If you’re looking for an orthopedic clinic in Little Rock, look no further than Dr. William Hefley. Dr. Hefley is a board-certified physician and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He’s an athlete, a father of athletes, and a youth sports coach, making him able to deeply understand the experiences of other athletes. You can rest assured you’ll receive the comprehensive treatment you deserve.
If you would like to know more about us or our services or to schedule an appointment, call our orthopedic clinic today at (800) 336-2412 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!