As an athlete, you put so much effort into your fitness and constantly train your body to move and react. So when you sustain an injury while playing your sport, it is common to feel betrayed by your body. But just like you trained your body before your injury, you can strengthen it and achieve your fitness goals again during your rehabilitation process. At ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics in Knoxville and Athens, TN, we are prepared to heal your injury and help you through the recovery process. We discuss the rehabilitation process after a major sports injury below!
How long will it take me to recover from a sports injury?
Many athletes may be eager to return to their sport as soon as possible after an injury, but some may be hesitant due to the fear of a repeat injury. Whether you are biting at the bit to get back on the field or need time to mentally heal, the recovery process is key to your return to sports. Your recovery time will be specific to your injury and rehabilitation goals, but a typical recovery time ranges from 3 months to 1 year.
What are the steps to recovering from a sports injury?
This part of the recovery process involves plenty of rest and may require surgery, depending on your injury. Common sites for sports injuries are the ACL, rotator cuff, labrum, and elbow. Tears or impingements in these areas can be repaired with surgery. At ORTHOKnox, our board-certified surgeon can perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to heal many sports injuries. This often results in a quicker recovery time.
You will work closely with a physical therapist during this part of your recovery, and it is key to follow your rehabilitation program. Communicate your goals and ideal timeline to your physical therapist. They will work with you to achieve a full recovery and help you return to your sport as quickly as possible. Your physical therapist will evaluate your strength, range of motion, and flexibility as you progress.
Alongside your rehabilitation, consider doing strength training (as long as approved by your physical therapist). Strength training is critical during this period, as your muscles have been resting and allowing your body to heal.
Gradually returning to your previous training by slowly increasing your training time and intensity is the best strategy to avoid returning to your sport too soon and risking re-injury. You will be able to participate in your sport during this time but not at the competition level just yet.
Returning to play
The decision to return to play should be discussed with your coaches and physical therapist. They will consider your opinion, fitness, and comfort level, safety, potential risk for other team members, and institutional regulations (if applicable). If everything looks good, you will be cleared to return to your sport! And do not worry if it takes more time to achieve your pre-injury level of play. This is common, and most athletes reach their pre-injury potential throughout the season.
Where do I go for treatment of a sports injury?
With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, and Orthopedic Walk-in Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered if you sustain an injury while playing sports.
Sports Injury Care in Knoxville and Athens, TN
For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your sports injury or help you recover, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!