What is Sports Medicine?
Compared to general orthopedics, sports medicine is a relatively new specialty area within orthopedic medicine. It was originally developed to provide high quality medical care for professional athletes and Olympic athletes. Today, sports medicine, or SEM (sports and exercise medicine) goes beyond that – it is devoted to three general types of patients:
- Patients with injuries related to exercise
- Patients looking to improve fitness and overall wellness through exercise therapy
- Patients who are avid or professional athletes, looking to enhance performance and prevent injury
Conditions TreatedSports medicine is not limited to any particular part of the body. It combines a broad knowledge base of general orthopedics and advanced training in sports medicine techniques. Some of the most common conditions treated by a sports medicine physician are listed below, from head to toe.
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Golfer's Elbow
- Tennis Elbow
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tear
- Meniscus Tear
- Ankle Sprain and Ankle Instability
- See more
Treatment – Surgical and Non-SurgicalThe first course of action for an injured athlete is to see a professional for a thorough evaluation of your pain level, range of motion, and function. Routine diagnostic imaging with X-ray and MRI can confirm the diagnosis.Many sports and exercise injuries affect soft tissues, like muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, which can benefit from our physical medicine and rehab (PM&R) and therapy services. Partial tears can be resolved without surgery, but more serious injuries may require surgery followed by rehabilitation. When surgery is indicated, a sports medicine doctor will generally recommend arthroscopy surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can simultaneously diagnose and repair joint damage. Because it can be done with 2 or 3 tiny incisions, there is less pain and down time compared to traditional surgery. Learn more about arthroscopy in our patient education center.For northern New York residents, there is no better choice than North Country Orthopaedic Group for sports medicine care. We perform all kinds of minimally invasive surgeries and have several specialists who focus on non-surgical methods for injured athletes. Call (315) 782-1650 to schedule a visit in Watertown, NY or you can use our online appointment request form.
In the News
Join us in congratulating Dr. Natalie Nielsen in becoming Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery!
ABOS Board Certification “is yet one more assurance for patients and their families — before and after surgery. Studies point to better outcomes, decreased infection rates and reduced time away from home when surgery is performed by a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon”1.
Board certification is voluntary process beyond medical licensure. A Board Certified physician must meet certain educational requirements. Certification first consists of two phases. The first phase is a timed exam of approximately 320 multiple choice questions covering all of orthopaedics. After passing this exam, the physician is considered Board Eligible. The second phase is an oral exam, for which all surgical cases performed during a six-month period are submitted for review by the volunteer Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons. Twelve cases are selected for the oral exam presentation. The cases are independently graded and scrutinized by examiners on many levels. Once a physician passes the second phase, they are Board Certified for a period of 10 years.