Category Archives: Sports Injuries

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SLAP Tears In The Shoulder: Diagnosis and Treatment

You shoulder is considered a ball and socket joint and is comprised of three bones. The humerus is the upper arm bone. The scapula is the shoulder blade. And, the clavicle is the collarbone. A ring of cartilage known as the labrum surrounds the shoulder joint’s socket. The labrum’s functions include deepening the socket, stabilizing the joint, and serving as an attachment point for other ligaments of the shoulder. Injuries to this ring of cartilage are known as SLAP tears.

What Is A SLAP Injury

SLAP stands for the Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. When the top part of the labrum (where the bicep attaches to the labrum) is injured, it is referred to as a SLAP injury. In these tears, both the front (posterior) and back (anterior) of the labrum can be affected and torn. In some cases, the bicep tendon will also suffer a tear as a result of the injury.

What Causes A SLAP Injury

SLAP tears are caused by a number of factors. Both repetitive stressors and acute trauma can cause these injuries. Common causes of acute trauma to the labrum are motor vehicle accidents, sports related injuries that involve falling directly onto an outstretched arm, a forceful pulling on the arm (often found in athletes straining to catch a ball), rapid or sudden movement of the arm when it outstretched above the head, and shoulder dislocation.

What Are The Symptoms of a SLAP Injury

SLAP injury symptoms include the following.

A feeling of locking, catching, popping, or grinding in the shoulder joint.

Pain experienced when moving the shoulder or when trying to hold the arm upright in one position for a period of time.

Pain experienced while lifting heavy objects.

A sudden and noticeable decrease in the strength of the shoulder.

In baseball, pitchers might notice deterioration in the velocity of their pitches and experience “dead arm” sensations.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, request an appointment with an NJ Sports Medicine specialist today!

Contacting A Sports Injury Specialist

If you’re experiencing chronic, acute, or prolonged pain that matches any of the above symptoms, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Call the NJ Sports Medicine team to schedule a consultation and learn about our minimally invasive treatment options today. Our team can be reached at 732-720-2555.


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Understanding ACL Transplant Surgery

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Your ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, serves a vital role in overall knee stability. The ACL is responsible for keeping the shin bone in place. Any tears or damage in the ACL leaves the knee open to giving in on itself during physical activity. ACL reconstruction surgery is a means of reconstructing this vital ligament.

 

How Does ACL Reconstruction Work?19798795_l

 

During ACL reconstruction surgery, tissue (either from your own body or from a donor) is used to replace the damaged ligament. Tissue taken from your own body and used to replace the ligament is called an autograft. Tissue taken from a donor to replace the ligament is called an allograft. Regardless of where this tissue is taken from, the procedure is most commonly done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Generally speaking, knee arthroscopic technology is used during the surgical procedure. With this technology, a small camera is inserted into the knee and allows the orthopedic surgeon to see the damaged ligament up close and perform the most complete replacement possible. Furthermore, the surgeon will use the camera to do a quick check of the surrounding tendons and ligaments to make sure there is no further damage to the knee area.

 

ACL Reconstruction takes place in four steps. These are:

  1. A shaver is used to remove the torn ligament.
  2. In autografts, the surgeon will make a larger cut and will remove the tissue from another part of your body to use in the knee ligament reconstruction.
  3. Tunnels are then created in the bone that allow for the ligament to be pulled through.
  4. The new ligament is attached to the bone with screws. As the knee heals, the bone tunnels will fill up, and this will be what holds the new ligament in place.

 

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For ACL Reconstruction Surgery?

 

ACL reconstruction surgery is used for anyone with a torn ACL that won’t recover otherwise. Patients experiencing the following symptoms are best suited for ACL reconstruction surgery.

  • Knees that give way or feel unstable during movement
  • Generalized knee pain
  • Injuries to the surrounding ligaments
  • An inability to continue physical activity because of the pain in the knee

 

Scheduling A Consultation

 

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call NJ Sports Medicine to request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist and get started on knee recovery.

 

 


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Ice-Skating Injuries

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Ice-skating is a cherished part of many winter sports and traditions. Romantic dates, fierce hockey games, figure skating just to name a few. There are lots of reasons to check out the rink. Cold, hard, slippery ice obviously presents some serious risks. Remember to keep the following in mind this winter:

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Most Common Injuries

Being aware of some of the more common kinds of ice-based injuries can help you be more cautious and understand when an injury merits immediate medical attention. There are two broad categories of injury to be mindful of: traumatic and overuse injuries.

 

Traumatic injuries are injuries caused by a single accident. Some of the more common ones include:

  • Sprains and fractures
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • ACL tears
  • Concussion or other head injury
  • Labral tears, particularly in the hip
  • Cuts and lacerations (skates are sharp!)

 

Overuse injuries are more common for athletes who spend a lot of time on the ice. Repetitive motions and strain place a lot of stress on the anatomy involved. Some of the overuse injuries commonly seen in skaters include:

  • Stress fractures, especially in the feet and spinal vertebrae
  • Shin splints
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle strains, especially in the hip
  • Bursitis

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a good place to start when understanding the general risks involved with ice-skating.

 

Avoiding Injury

Lots of the same tips we recently recommended to skiers and snowboarders apply here. If your ice skate competitively, whether as a figure skater, speed skater, or hockey player, make sure you are in shape before hitting the ice and cross train to mix things up and reduce the kind of repetitive motion and strain that leads to overuse injuries. Stay hydrated so you are alert and aware of your surroundings. Even though it’s cold and you feel like you are not sweating, you’re still using lots of water. Finally, make sure your gear is up to snuff and wear safety gear appropriate to your activity.

 

Have an ice-skating injury, or want to find a workout that will allow you to be a better skater? We’re happy to help. Request an appointment today!


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Muscle Fatigue

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Muscle fatigue is a condition where your muscles lose ability to generate force. It can be a sign that your body needs a break, or a symptom of serious illness. It’s important to be able to recognize muscle fatigue, and to be able to differentiate it from the regular “burn” associated with working out. Doing so will allow you to spot early warning signs of underlying medical issues, understand how to challenge yourself physically without going too far, and avoid injury.

Signs and Symptoms

Muscle Weakness

Sudden and or severe sensations of muscle weakness are a key indicator of muscle fatigue. Your legs may feel like “jelly”–wobbly and unable to support your weight.

Muscle Twitching

Involuntary muscle twitches in the legs is another common sign of muscle fatigue. This is particularly common in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The medical term for these twitches is myoclonic jerks.

Weak Grip

If you are experiencing muscle fatigue, your grip may be weak. For example, you may find you are unable to hold your water bottle or sports equipment.

Causes

Overexertion

Vigorous, sustained exercise is often responsible for muscle fatigue. You may have been doing an activity too long, or doing too much without proper training. Either way, if you know or suspect you are experiencing muscle fatigue remember to take a break. Otherwise, you are at far greater risk for injury–in part because your nerves are already frazzled from sending you signals to quit, and you may not be as able to detect when you are moving in a way that’s especially harmful.

Nervous fatigue and metabolic fatigue may be involved in overexertion related muscle fatigue. Nervous fatigue occurs because the nerve that generates the signal for a given muscle to contract has been holding that signal too long, and at too high a frequency. In other words, though your muscles could potentially do more with training, the nerve isn’t yet able to keep signaling them on.

Metabolic fatigue means your muscles either don’t have enough “fuel” or have too much of the byproducts of that fuel building up and messing with the ability of the muscle to function properly. Eating well, regularly, and enough to support your weight and activity level will help lower your risk of metabolic fatigue.

Neuromuscular Disease

Sometimes, muscular fatigue may be a symptom of neuromuscular disease. Neuromuscular diseases impact the ability of your muscles to function, and may be pathologies of the muscle or may be pathologies of the nerves and/or tissues surrounding the muscle.

If you’re struggling with muscle fatigue regularly, you should consult a sports medicine professional to identify to cause. They can help diagnose the issue, and use testing to identify an optimal workout for your body type so that your can get stronger the smart way.


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Sports Injuries of the Knee

Sports injuries are a serious concern for today’s athletes. While careful engagement in athletic activity can prevent injuries, accidents still happen. No one wants to lose the opportunity to play a favorite sport or contribute to their team, so many athletes take extensive steps to educate and physically prepare themselves. The right information can make all the difference: in a stressful situation, an athlete prepared with the appropriate knowledge of sports medicine can act quickly to avoid or mitigate the consequences of an injury. That knowledge begins with understanding the most common conditions sustained by athletes and treated by sports medicine experts.

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The knee is one of the most common areas of the body that is injured as you use your knees in almost every sport and with everyday activities. From soccer, where you are only allowed to use your lower part of your body, to volleyball where you make short, quick stops and turns, your knees take a lot of abuse and can restrict your athletic capability in both the short and the long term when injured. To understand a bit more about knee injuries, let us first take a look at the structure of the knee.

The knee consists of four bones and three main joints: the patellofemoral, which is the contact of the kneecap to the end of the femur; the tibiofemoral joint between the end of the femur and the top of the tibia; and the joint connecting the tibia to the top of the fibula.

Though our knees degenerate as we age leading to pain, knee pain is also caused by overuse from running and endurance sports as well as being caused by trauma where direct impact or excessive force causes damage to the ligaments, cartilage and bone.

Common sports injuries of the knee include:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (ACL): The ACL is an internal ligament in your knee that attaches the tibia to the femur, and when this is torn the knee becomes unstable or loose
  • Medial and Lateral Collateral Ligaments (MCL/LCL): The MCL and LCL are internal ligaments that attach the femur to the tibia and are often injured in contact sports
  • Meniscus Tear: The meniscus is a structure in your knee made of cartilage that wraps around the knee joint and supports it. When the meniscus is torn, there’s often pain and sensation of locking, catching or giving way. There are two menisci in the knee, the medial and lateral menisci
  • Tendinitis and Bursitis: Caused by inflammation of the structures about the knee. Examples include:
    • Pes Anserine Bursitis: causes pain on the inside of your knee
    • Patellar Tendinitis or Prepatellar Bursitis: causes pain and sometimes swelling of the front of your knee
  • Fractures: Fractures of the knee are not very common but are often debilitating. The kneecap is commonly fractured from a direct impact and the surface of the tibia is prone to injury from forces usually in the lateral direction.

So how do you know if you injured your knee?

If you are feeling pain in your knee or have any of the following symptoms with regards to you knee, you should have yourself evaluated by AOSMI’s Sports Medicine Specialists. Knee injury symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth or redness
  • Instability or limping or unable to walk/put weight on the knee
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee
  • “Locking” or “popping” of the knee

Many conservative treatments are now available for sports knee injuries and most knee problems respond well to conservative treatment. At AOSMI, our Sports Medicine Specialists offer many different conservative treatment options including:

  • Medication: anti-inflammatories or supplements
  • Physical Therapy: used for rehabilitation of knee problems and to return you to normal activities. Strengthening programs are also available to prevent future injury and increase sports performance
  • Bracing: often helps with pain and instability during healing
  • Massage Therapy
  • Injections that are placed about the knee, typically for tendinitis, bursitis and arthritis
    • Steroid Injections: for pain and inflammation
    • PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) and Stem Cell Injections: used to assist the healing process for injuries to the cartilage and ligaments of the knee
    • Hyaluronic Acid: to supplement and nourish the cartilage to potentially restore it

With most sports knee injuries surgery is not required but in extreme cases, orthopedic knee surgery is performed to treat diseases and conditions that are not responding to more conservative treatments. Surgeries include minimally invasive/Arthroscopic surgery, ligament reconstruction, meniscal repair, joint replacement, open reduction and internal fixation (surgeries used to repair fractures), and cartilage repair, regrowth and regeneration. AOSMI Board-Certified, Sports Medicine Fellowship Trained Surgeons are specialized in the most advanced arthroscopic minimally invasive surgical techniques and will determine what will provide the most optimal outcome if surgery is necessary.

Your knee is very important as an athlete and simply for your overall mobility. If you feel that you may have injured your knee or have knee pain, get evaluated by physicians who understand what it means to be an athlete. At AOSMI, our Sports Medicine Specialists will work with you to get your injury healed as quickly as possible and back into the game. Call today to schedule your appointment – 732-720-2555!


Athletic injuries, discomfort, or that nagging sense you aren’t achieving your full potential? Game on. Here at New Jersey Sports Medicine, our experts are here to heal the injured and help players at every level unlock their best selves. If you’re ready to hit a home run for your health, contact us today and request an appointment.