21 Nov

Orthopedic Health of KC Newsletter November 2019

Sports In Depth: Inside Football Injuries

By Dr. Paul Cowan, M.D., M.P.H., Sports Medicine

Football is an exciting, fast moving sport, but it also has a component of risk. When the goal of a game is to gain ground, or keep your opponent from gaining ground with physical contact, there will be injuries. Some injuries occur more commonly than others. Certainly, on the forefront of most casual and non-casual football spectators is concussion. There has been a recent increase in both public perception and scientific research on concussion. Where once it was just “getting your bell-rung,” we now know that these incidents cause damage to brains that could cause long-term consequences. There is no true “test” for concussion like checking blood sugars for diabetes, or an x-ray for fracture. It takes a suspicion by a trained professional and subjective symptoms and signs to pull an athlete from competition. They are then started on a prescribed, step-wise progression back to their sport. There are immediate and long-term health consequences that can occur if an athlete is rushed back too soon to competition suffering a repeat brain injury.

There are more easily diagnosed and common injuries that can occur in tackle football. The most high-profile, outside of concussion, may be anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. The ACL can tear from impact (i.e.— a tackle or hit) or from a non-contact injury (i.e.— twisting the knee or changing directions). The person suffering an ACL injury usually feels a “pop” and has immediate swelling in the knee. The ACL is rarely repairable, meaning, you cannot simply sew it back together. Most commonly, the ACL has to be reconstructed or “re-made” with a graft. The recovery from ACL surgery and time back to the field is generally 6-9 months from surgery and involves a rigorous physical therapy regimen. The stated goal, for all ACL reconstructions, is to return the athlete back to their previous level of play with as little disruption as possible.

The most important step in treating ACL tears is early diagnosis and a treatment plan. It is important to find a trusted, experienced Orthopedic surgeon to help diagnose, obtain imaging (MRI), and discuss your treatment plan. Athletes often require physical therapy prior to surgery to regain range of motion and decrease swelling. The OHKC orthopedic urgent care is an excellent first step in getting properly treated and on the road to recovery. Our urgent care hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays at both of our locations and Saturday hours from 8:00 to 12:00 pm at our North Kansas City location. These hours are convenient for after school and Saturday mornings after Friday night football games.

And the Best Costume Goes To…

This past Halloween, employees at the practice celebrated the best way possible…with a costume contest. Competition was fierce like the Globo Gym Purple Cobras. Which brings us to our winner…Dr. Eggers as White Goodman from Dodgeball. Coming in a close second, the cast from Game of Thrones. Thank you to everyone for their participation!