No one wants to feel a sudden burst of pain after colliding with another player on the field or live with gradual pain that constantly interrupts their game, but sports injuries happen. Any pain or stiffness that does not quickly subside should be evaluated by a physician, especially for athletes. Injuries can worsen over time, which can hinder your current gameplay and delay your return to sports even longer. ORTHOKnox has a team of sports medicine specialists in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, to help diagnose and treat sports injuries. While we hope you stay safe on the field (and off), we walk you through the process of receiving a sports injury diagnosis below.
Steps to Diagnose a Sports Injury:
First, your doctor will ask you a series of questions to help hone in on a diagnosis.
- How did you sustain your injury?
- Was it sudden (acute) or gradual (chronic)?
- If your injury was sudden, what were you doing when you were injured?
- If your injury was gradual, when did you first notice the pain? Have you changed the intensity or increased the repetition of any activities recently?
- Where do you feel the most pain?
- Are there certain movements that make the pain feel worse?
In most cases you will have X-rays: high-energy radiation to examine bones
After your doctor has the general context of your injury, they will perform a physical exam and look for the following:
- General trauma in an area
- Redness or warmth
- Weight-bearing capabilities
- Joint movement
- Weakness in an area
- Grinding or clicking in a joint
Next, your doctor may order imaging to examine injured bones or tissues. This step is needed to confirm a suspected diagnosis or to evaluate the severity of an injury. The type of imaging depends on the location of your injury and may include the following:
- CT (computed tomography) scan: like an X-ray, but provides a detailed view with compiled scans rather than a snapshot
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): large magnets and computers work together to provide a view of organs and tissues
- Ultrasound: sound waves produce images of soft tissues
Finally, your doctor will compile all the information to provide a diagnosis and present your treatment options.
Questions you should consider asking when receiving a sports injury diagnosis:
Your doctor will probably go over the following with you, but here are a few questions to consider when you are setting up your treatment plan for your sports injury.
- What are my treatment options?
- How long will my recovery take?
- Do I need physical therapy?
- Should I apply ice or heat to my injury? Or both?
- What are my options for pain treatment?
- Is there a time estimate for my return to sports?
- What can I do to prevent future injuries?
How do I get treatment for a sports injury?
ORTHOKnox has clinics in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, and offers sports medicine, including on-site physical therapy. With its board-certified surgeon and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your sports injury, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!