Engaging in physical activity has numerous benefits. Sports increase agility, strength and stamina, helps to burn calories and improve your overall mood and confidence. But whatever your fitness goals, getting injured during your workout certainly isn’t one of them.
Dr Anurag Sapolia, specialist orthopedic surgeon at Medeor 24×7 Hospital in Dubai, says there are two main reasons for sports-related injuries – posture and overexertion. Poor posture eventually weakens your entire musculoskeletal structure, while trying to do too much too fast, in both reps and weight, can also pose health problems.
“Sports injuries are commonly caused by overuse, direct impact or by applying a force that is greater than the body can take,” explains Dr Sapolia. “Whether the injury is acute or chronic, if pain persists, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid further complications.”
Sports injuries range from overuse injuries like tendonitis, joint and muscle sprains and strains, torn ligaments, broken bones and concussions. In sports medicine, knee and shoulder injuries are among the most common, but they don’t have to limit you for the rest of your life.
While these types of injuries are not generally considered tragic or catastrophic, they can be severely disabling and may require extensive medical care. Surgical treatments for knee and shoulder problems include minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP).
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is an alternative treatment option that takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, or bone.
For the treatment, doctors extract a small amount of a patient’s blood and place it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components. Then they inject the concentrated platelets at the site of the patient’s injury to stimulate tissue recovery.
A favourite among many celebrity athletes, this rapidly emerging technique is becoming increasingly popular for treating:
“Patients usually feel the positive effects of their treatment within just a few days and continue to improve over time,” says Dr Sapolia. “Research has shown that PRP is highly effective at relieving pain and getting patients back to enjoying their everyday lives.”
Arthroplasty (literally meaning to reform a joint) is an orthopedic surgical procedure where the articular surface of a musculoskeletal joint is replaced, remodelled, or realigned.
There are two main types of arthroplastic surgery – joint resection (remove a portion of the bone to improve the range of motion) and interpositional reconstruction (to reshape the joint and add a prosthetic disk. When interpositional reconstruction fails, total joint replacement may be necessary.
The benefits of arthroplasty include:
“The goal of this type of treatment is to restore the function of a stiffened joint and relieve pain,” says Dr Sapolia. “In recent years, arthroplasty has become the operation of choice for most knee and hip problems as it has been proven to improve overall function and quality of life.”
Arthroscopic surgery, meanwhile, is used to repair, diagnose and treat problems within a joint and can have a quicker recovery time than traditional open surgery.
Most often performed on the knee, this type of surgery can also be done on shoulders, ankles, elbows, hips and wrists. It is a minimally invasive technique that gives orthopedic surgeons the ability to access, navigate and operate on a joint.
During the procedure, the surgeon inserts an arthroscope (an instrument containing a lens and fibre optic lighting system) through a small incision in the skin. The arthroscope is then attached to a tiny camera, which offers a magnified view and allows the surgeon to explore the interior of the joint to diagnose the severity or type of injury.
When compared with traditional surgery of a joint, arthroscopic surgery usually has the following advantages: