Michael B. Gerhardt, MD - Orthopaedic Surgeon - Hip Specialist
Michael B. Gerhardt, MD - Orthopaedic Surgeon - Hip Specialist: (310) 829-2663
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Sports Medicine & Orthobiologics

Sports injuries occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.

The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).

  • Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury
  • Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin
  • Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish this
  • Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.

Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:

  • Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
  • Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise
  • Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouthguards, and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity which will help to reduce the chances of injury
  • Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries
  • Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal
  • Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish the muscles
  • Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for sometime after playing
  • Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in
  • Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport

Hip Injuries

Fractures of the femur bone, labral tear and hip dislocation are some of the common sports injuries affecting the hip. Hip joint bears more weight and is more susceptible for injuries while playing sports. Hip injuries require immediate medical intervention to avoid further complications. Rehabilitation programs and physical therapy is often recommended following the medical intervention where you need to perform certain exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve the movements.

PRP Injection

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a newer modality of treatment for the management of many orthopaedic conditions including sport injuries. RBC (red blood cells), WBC (white blood cells), plasma, and platelets are the major components of blood. Platelets are small discoid blood cells with granules containing clotting and growth factors which are released during the healing process. On activation, the platelets accelerate the inflammatory cascade as well as healing by the release of the granules containing growth factors. Platelets have an average lifespan of 7–10 days.

A normal blood specimen contains only 6% platelets whereas platelet rich plasma (PRP) contains a much higher concentration of platelets.  A PRP injection is generally recommended in the treatment of tendon or muscle injuries with a success rate of about 70% to 80%.  Four to six weeks may be required for complete healing.

Special precautions are required in individuals with low platelet count, bleeding disorders, those on blood thinning medications or anti-inflammatory medications, individuals allergic to local anaesthetic agents, those with active infections and women who are pregnant or breast feeding.

Procedure

Your doctor will first draw 10 ml of blood from the large vein in your elbow. The blood will be centrifuged or spun to separate the platelets from other blood components. The entire process takes about 10 minutes. The platelet rich portion of the blood is then extracted.

The injured part of the body is anesthetized with a local anaesthetic and PRP is injected into the affected area under ultrasound guidance.

After the procedure

Following the procedure, you can resume your daily routine activities but avoid strenuous activities such as heavy exercise or lifting.

You may experience some pain during the injection which may last for a couple of days. Cold compresses and pain medication may be prescribed for pain relief.  Anti-inflammatory medications are to be avoided for up to 48 hours after the injection, as they can affect the platelet function.

Risks and complications are rare but can include infection, nerve or blood vessel injury, scar tissue formation, and calcification at the injection site following a PRP injection.

Call your doctor immediately in case of persistent pain or the development of any adverse reaction after the injection.


Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Sports Medicine Topics

Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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