Sports medicine encompasses injuries to every part of the body. So, how is sports medicine different than general orthopaedics?
Classic sports injuries involve ligament, tendon and cartilage injuries of the joint. Sports medicine specialists are experts at using the most cutting edge and minimally invasive techniques to treat these injuries. Reconstructing ligaments, repairing tendons, and cartilage restoration in a fashion that gets an athlete back to full athletic participation and performance is a fine art that requires a fellowship-trained surgeon with extensive experience. Sports surgeons employ these same surgical techniques and level of expertise to treat older individuals, manual laborers and other non-athletes in the most minimally invasive and effective manner.
Dr Shell is patience and made me feel very comfortable whenever I’m in his office. He has never rushed to leave the room when I was there and he took the time and listened to everything I wanted to say about what was going on with my foot. He’s a good doctor/surgeon. I love having him as my doctor.
A few of the more common surgeries performed by a sports specialist include:
- Meniscus Repair – The meniscus is a fibrocartilage pad or gasket in the knee that helps distribute the loads. The meniscus can tear when extreme loads are applied to the knee in sports or other activities. Sports surgeons are adept at repairing the meniscus whenever possible rather than just remove it. This potentially decreases risk of arthritis and pain long-term.
- ACL Reconstruction – The anterior cruciate ligament is in the center of the knee and prevents it from slipping out of place with deceleration (rapid stops) and cutting and pivoting activities. When the ACL tears, a sports specialist can repair the ligament in some cases. If the ACL is not repairable, the sports surgeon will reconstruct the ligament so that it exactly replicates the individual’s anatomy and joint mechanics.
- Cartilage Transplantation – Cartilage is the special tissue that lines all joint surfaces, is nearly frictionless, and provides cushion. Trauma from sports or other activities can cause a piece of cartilage to break off. Left untreated, rapid destruction of the joint can occur. Because cartilage has little innate healing potential, treatment requires meticulous repair, cartilage transfer (OATs procedure), or cartilage transplant. A sports specialist can take a small sample of your cartilage, grow it in a laboratory, and then reimplant it into the cartilage defect.
- Rotator Cuff Repair – The rotator cuff is a complex sleeve of tendons that through coordinated muscle contractions allows the humeral head (ball of the shoulder) to stay centered in the glenoid (socket) throughout range of motion. A sports specialist can repair all rotator cuff tears arthroscopically (shoulder scope).
Your Sports Injuries procedure will be performed at one of Gulf Orthopaedics surgery center locations: Gulf Orthopaedics at Hillcrest, Gulf Orthopaedics at Infirmary, Gulf Orthopaedics at Saraland, Springhill Medical Center, Springhill Outpatient Surgery Center (GCSP), Mobile Infirmary Hospital, and University Hospital.