What’s Included in Sports Medicine?

Athletes and highly active people are typically in good overall health. When they require medical attention, it’s usually for injuries sustained during competition or for conditions that hinder their performance.

Sports medicine focuses on these sports-related issues with specialized care that gets you back into the game as soon as possible. Our team of experts here at Dr. McKenna’s Orthopedics and Biologics understands how to keep your body in peak condition, how to help you prevent injuries, and how to rehabilitate your body after an injury so you can return to your sport. 

Led by Dr. Wade McKenna, renowned orthopedic surgeon, physician to world-class athletes, inventor, and patent holder, our team applies the latest sports medicine technologies and treatments here in our Decatur and Trophy Club, Texas offices. Here’s a glimpse into the world of sports medicine.

Sports medicine through the years

Although the medical field has been evolving for centuries, sports medicine as a specialty is relatively new. It got its start in the Olympic Games when Germany first coined the term “sports physicians” in 1904, and then formed the first association in 1924. 

While other countries followed suit, it took another three decades for the United States to join the ranks. In 1954, the US formed the American College of Sports Medicine, linking the fields of medicine, physiology, and physical education, but the concept of sports medicine was only a melding of various existing fields.

Even when the American Society for Sports Medicine was founded in 1975 and encompassed the contributions of athletic trainers, biomechanists, engineers, scientists, and clinicians, it was still a largely disjointed effort. 

But as athletes pushed their bodies harder to increase their performance and break records, injuries increased accordingly. As a result, over the past several decades, athletes and the physicians who treat them have focused much more on the prevention of pre- and post-season injuries, and the sports medicine field of study has developed more sophisticated tests, diagnostic tools, and treatment methods. Today, hundreds of colleges and universities offer sports medicine degree programs, and sports medicine is a recognized professional field.

The difference between sports medicine and orthopedic surgery

Both orthopedic surgery and sports medicine have the same goal: to correct musculoskeletal conditions. But orthopedic surgeons focus on surgical procedures, while sports medicine physicians look to nonsurgical solutions.

Dr. McKenna is a leading orthopedic surgeon who is also extensively trained and experienced in the science and art of nonsurgical treatments of sports-related injuries, so you get the best of both worlds. 

Sports medicine specifics

At Dr. McKenna’s Orthopedics and Biologics, our sports medicine team combines sports training, physician education, physical medicine, and rehabilitation to develop a personalized treatment plan for you that will:

  • Treat your underlying condition
  • Stop or reduce your pain
  • Restore functionality
  • Get you back into action
  • Maximize your performance

Whether you’re a professional athlete, an amateur enthusiast, a weekend warrior, or simply an active person, sports medicine techniques can help. After all, many injuries that occur in a sporting event share similarities with those that occur off the field. Here’s a partial list of the types of injuries that fall under the care of our sports medicine team:

  • Overuse injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprained ankles
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Stress fractures
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Fractured bones

The good news is that these injuries typically don’t call for surgery, but they do need the specialized care of Dr. McKenna and our sports medicine team. 

The sports medicine experience

Here at Dr. McKenna’s Orthopedics and Biologics, we take an interdisciplinary approach. In addition to physical therapy, medication, and injections, Dr. McKenna specializes in another nonsurgical means to treat your athletic injuries — stem cell therapy

If Dr. McKenna determines you’re a good candidate for this treatment, he draws a small sample of your body’s own stem cells (blank cells that can transform into any tissue type) from your bone marrow and combines it with amniotic cells. This powerful mixture contains prostaglandins and growth factors capable of regenerating damaged ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. He injects this rich solution into your injury, where it reduces inflammation and pain and speeds up your healing process. 

Whether you’re a healthy athlete looking for an expert team to keep you in peak condition and help you prevent career-ending injuries, or an injured athlete looking for the best and fastest way to get back in the game, call us at either of our locations or request an appointment online today.

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