Sports Injury Surgery Basics
injury surgery is often the last and final treatment option for some sports
injuries. For some, surgery comes after many weeks or months of conservative treatment, and is the final attempt at a full recovery. Conditions like chronic ankle instability, patella femoral syndrome, and tendonopathy may benefit from surgery when rehabilitation fails.
Other injuries that ultimately require surgery for a
full recovery. These types of injuries, like ACL tears, shoulder labral tears, and meniscus
tears, require surgery to reconstruct or repair the tissues. Conservative rehabilitation is usually not a long-term option because these structures do not heal on their own.
Conservative Management vs. Sports Injury Surgery
treatment involves early acute care like R.I.C.E, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, and protection of the healing tissues. After initial treatment, rehabilitation programs that focus on restoring normal mobility, stability, and movement patterns can be successful for some injuries. Once the initial trauma of the injury has passed,
conservative rehabilitation works to restore normal function.
ultimate goal of course is to avoid a sports injury surgery if possible. Unfortunately,
depending on the severity of your injury and the structures involved,
you may have to have surgery to get back to normal.
There are several factors that determine whether surgery is necessary:
Type of Tissues
Some tissues, like the anterior cruciate ligament, are unable to heal well on their own. Whether or not a tissue can heal on its own depends on the blood supply to the tissue, the normal function of the tissue, and whether or not it can be protected well enough to heal. Common tissues that do not heal well on their own and often require surgery include the fibrocartilage, articular cartilage, and some ligaments and joint capsules.
Severity of the Injury
Injury severity often determines the need for surgery. A grade one ligament sprain is much more likely to heal on its own than a grade III sprain. In general, for tendon and ligament injuries, complete ruptures (grade III strains/sprains) require surgery to reattach the torn tissues, or to reconstruct them. The ACL, achilles tendon, patellar and quad tendons, and biceps tendons are good examples of grade III injuries that usually require surgery.
Injuries that are treated exclusively with surgery often include several weeks of
conservative care to reduce swelling and improve range of motion before surgery. Injuries that can be managed conservatively go through rehabilitation, and surgical intervention is only necessary if rehabilitation is not successful.
matter what type of sports injury surgery you may be having, you likely have
lots of questions. Use the links below to find out more about different
types of surgery, and to help prepare yourself for the
Sports Injury Surgery Procedures and Information
Sports Injury Surgery: Arthroscopic
vs. Open Procedures
The pain levels, post-operative care,
rehabilitation, and recovery timeline are different for open and
arthroscopic procedures. Learn more about these differences, and what
types of surgery is available for different injuries.
surgery is very common with sports injuries. Learn more about specific
knee surgeries like ACL reconstructions, meniscus surgery, and more.
arthroscopy is considered a "minor" knee surgery, and can be used to
treat many conditions within the joint. It is minimally invasive, and
the rehabilitation time varies depending on what was actually done
inside the knee.
Meniscectomy, or removal of a torn
meniscus. Learn more about this very common arthroscopic procedure including details of the procedure, post-operative care, rehabilitation, and recovery timelines.
Meniscus repair involves using
sutures or tacks to repair the meniscus. Learn more about this procedure including surgery details, post-operative restrictions, rehabilitation, and recovery timelines.
This sports injury surgery is used to treat patella
femoral problems and is common arthroscopic surgery for sports injuries. Learn more about indications for surgery, procedure details, post-operative care, and rehabilitation.
reconstruction is considered a major knee surgery and is a very common sports injury surgery. It involves
reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, and extensive
rehabilitation. Learn more about surgery details, post-operative care, rehabilitation, and recovery timelines.
a Physician For Your ACL Surgery
orthopedists are created equal. Do you know what to look for in a good
surgeon for your ACL surgery?
for Your Physician
orthopedic surgeion is the best person to answer your questions about
ACL surgery. Here is a list of questions to get you started...
Learn about the benefits and
drawbacks of this graft type, and how it plays into the reconstruction
and rehab. You may be given a choice in the type of graft used in your
reconstruction, so you need to understand the differences.
the hamstring tendon graft a good choice for you? Read more about this
tissue type, why it is used, and how it affects your rehab. Includes
information on graft details, and potential benefits and drawbacks.
A good start to pre-surgical ACL
exercises to help you prepare for surgery. Focuses on reducing swelling
and inflammation, restoring range of motion, and improving muscle
activation and control.
to Expect From ACL Surgery
much does it hurt? What will my knee feel like? What on earth is all of
this yellow stuff? ACL reconstruction can be very anxiety provoking,
with lots and lots of pre-surgery questions. Get answers to common
questions about pain levels, braces, crutches, recovery timeline, and
first week after surgery is important to get yourself started out on
the right foot. Learn how to maximize your recovery, and what you should and should not be doing right after your surgery.
Range of Motion
Regaining motion after surgery is
very important. Here are a few ways you can work to improve your motion and help move your recovery process forward.
long will you be on crutches? How long do you have to wear a brace?
When can you run again? Read through my ACL timeline and learn more
about what lies ahead. Timelines are different for each physician, but this is a good general guideline.
- ACL Surgery Stories
you have had an ACL reconstruction, or are getting ready for this
surgery, it often helps to read the experiences of others. Whether you have questions you want
answered, or just want to share your experience, this is the place for
- Shoulder Surgery
repairs, SLAP Repair, bankart
reconstructions. Learn more about these types of shoulder surgeries.
Learn more about this type of shoulder
surgery used to treat many different shoulder injuries. Includes details
on what injuries can be treated arthroscopically, surgery details,
post-operative information, and other general information.
This arthroscopic procedure is used to
treat impingement syndrome. Information on procedure details, post-operative care, rehabilitation, and recovery timelines.
Arthroscopic or open procedure used to
repair a torn rotator cuff. Get more information on how the surgery is
performed, post-operative restrictions, rehabilitation, and recovery
This procedure repairs the labram, or
cartilage, of the
shoulder and can be performed arthroscopically or open.
Sports Injury Surgery