The Carrell Clinic provides the most comprehensive sports medicine to include diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Our sports medicine program treats recreational, high school, college, and professional athletes. As a testament to the outstanding level of sports medicine provided, The Carrell Clinic is proud to be the official team physicians for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and the SMU Mustangs. In addition to these great sports teams, our physicians treat and return professional athletes from all different sports back to peak performance.
The Carrell Clinic physicians are board certified, fellowship-trained specialists in sports medicine. Our physicians take a conservative and comprehensive approach to treating sports injuries, which include diagnostics, physical therapy, pain management, and as a last resort, surgical intervention.
The word “fracture” implies to broken bone. A bone may get fractured completely or partially and it is caused commonly from trauma due to fall, motor vehicle accident or sports. Thinning of the bone due to osteoporosis in the elderly can cause the bone to break easily. Overuse injuries are common cause of stress fractures in athletes.
Our body reacts to a fracture by protecting the injured area with a blood clot and callus or fibrous tissue. Bone cells begin forming on the either side of the fracture line. These cells grow towards each other and thus close the fracture.
The objective of early fracture management is to control bleeding, prevent ischemic injury (bone death) and to remove sources of infection such as foreign bodies and dead tissues. The next step in fracture management is the reduction of the fracture and its maintenance. It is important to ensure that the involved part of the body returns to its function after fracture heals. To achieve this, maintenance of fracture reduction with immobilization technique is done by either non-operative or surgical method.
Non-operative (closed) therapy comprises of casting and traction (skin and skeletal traction).
Closed reduction is done for any fracture that is displaced, shortened, or angulated. Splints and casts made up of fiberglass or plaster of Paris material are used to immobilize the limb.
Traction method is used for the management of fractures and dislocations that cannot be treated by casting. There are two methods of traction namely, skin traction and skeletal traction.
Skin traction involves attachment of traction tapes to the skin of the limb segment below the fracture. In skeletal traction, a pin is inserted through the bone distal to the fracture. Weights will be applied to this pin, and the patient is placed in an apparatus that facilitates traction. This method is most commonly used for fractures of the thighbone.
Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF)
This is a surgical procedure in which the fracture site is adequately exposed and reduction of fracture is done. Internal fixation is done with devices such as Kirschner’s wires, plates and screws, and intramedullary nails.
External fixation is a procedure in which the fracture stabilization is done at a distance from the site of fracture. It helps to maintain bone length and alignment without casting.
External fixation is performed in the following conditions:
- Open fractures with soft-tissue involvement
- Burns and soft tissue injuries
- Pelvic fractures
- Comminuted and unstable fractures
- Fractures having bony deficits
- Limb-lengthening procedures
- Fractures with infection or nonunion
Fractures may take several weeks to months to heal completely. You should limit your activities even after the removal of cast or brace so that the bone become solid enough to bear the stress. Rehabilitation program involves exercises and gradual increase in activity levels until the process of healing is complete.
A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments, which connect adjacent bones and provide stability to a joint. An ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when you suddenly fall or twist the joint or when you land your foot in an awkward position after a jump.
Sports medicine involves diagnosing, treating and preventing injuries during sports activity and exercises. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations.
Early evaluation and diagnosis of sports injuries provide better treatment outcomes and prevention of complications. Treatments utilized in sports medicine include:
- Medication to relieve pain and inflammation
- Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E) of the affected region of the body
- Immobilization with splints, casts, braces and special shoes
- Physical therapy: exercises and physical manipulation to strengthen muscles and joints, and improve range of motion. Physical therapy can be indicated individually or following surgical treatment.
- Training to improve specific sports techniques
- Surgery to correct or repair tears, lacerations, fractures and dislocations
Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
- Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
- Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercises
- Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouth guards, pads, comfortable clothes and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity to help reduce the chances of injury
- Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activities. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries.
- Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal.
- Maintain a healthy diet to nourish the muscles.
- Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing.
- Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in.
- Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport.