Sports medicine, also known as sport and exercise medicine (SEM), deals with the assessment, management and treatment of sports injuries as well as the prevention of future injuries related to sports and exercise.
Sports medicine is offered at Ramsay Health Care UK hospitals by specialists who have extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine and are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and musculoskeletal problems in physically active individuals.
Our specialists in sports medicine treat sporting injuries in your muscle, ligament, tendon and bone. They have a background of working with professional athletes and sports teams as well as recreational athletes.
Our sports medicine consultants work as part of a multidisciplinary team comprising of specialist physiotherapists, podiatrists, osteopaths and chiropractors, orthopaedic surgeons, pain medicine physicians, radiologists, sports massage therapists, neurologists and nutritionists to diagnose and treat any medical conditions which regular exercisers or sports persons encounter.
Common sports medicine conditions we treat
Tendinopathy is increasing in prevalence. If you have an athletic and active lifestyle your muscles will be subjected to a lot of exertion and movement which can affect the fibrous connective tissue (tendons) and cause a variety of conditions, called Tendinopathy. Tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendon injuries and shoulder tendinopathy from throwing are examples of tendinopathies and can cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness and weakness in the affected areas.
Sports medicine for tendinopathies is focused on improving the strength of your tendon and rebuilding tissues. The first thing to do is to stop activity and rest. Many tendon injuries turn into chronic problems that gradually get worse because the athlete continues activity despite nagging pain. Common methods used to help heal tendinopathy include: ultrasound, medications and injections, massage, bracing or splinting and strengthening and flexibility exercises.
Arthroscopic surgery of the ankle
Ankle injuries are common while playing sports such as football, hockey, basketball, skating and in athletes.
Ankle arthroscopy is a procedure that uses a tiny camera called an arthroscope and surgical tools to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your ankle. The procedure allows your surgeon to detect problems and make repairs to your ankle without making larger cuts in the skin and tissue.
Arthroscopic surgery of the ankle will treat sports injuries including ligament tears, Footballers ankle (anterior ankle impingement), ankle pain caused by loose bodies following fracture and other sports injuries, lateral ligament reconstruction, cartilage injuries and scar tissue.
Common ligament reconstruction surgeries in sports medicine include anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction and ankle ligament reconstruction.
The ACL is one of the two large ligaments within your knee. It controls front to back and, most importantly, pivoting or twisting movement. The ACL can be torn or ruptured during sports activities. Once broken, it rarely heals and your knee may give way. Successful ACL reconstruction will mean your knee will no longer give way and you can return to sports activities.
The PCL controls front to back movement within your knee. It can be torn or ruptured during sports activities or from a direct blow to your knee. A severe injury of the PCL will require reconstructive surgery.
Ankle ligament reconstruction is commonly performed on patients with ankle instability or repeated sprains. The aim is to improve the overall stability of your ankle joint by tightening ligaments which may have become stretched by sprains, other injuries or degeneration.
Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either overuse or traumatic injuries.
Overuse injuries may include: runner's knee which is a painful condition generally associated with running and, tennis elbow which is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow (although not often occurring in tennis players).
Traumatic injuries can be caused by hard contact with something. They account for most injuries in contact sports such as rugby and football because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises and muscle strains, fractures and broken bones, torn ligaments or tendons, dislocations and head injuries.
Minor sports injuries may benefit from the PRICE technique: protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Other techniques including Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), physiotherapy, surgery and rehabilitation may be used to manage other sports injuries.