In the past, mothers were concerned about their children playing sports because of potential injuries. It wasn't the immediate injury that worried them so much as it was the potential long term damage or down time due to surgery. Today, innovations in medicine help reduce the down time through arthroscopic procedures and physical therapy. As a parent of a child who may experience sports injuries, it's a good idea to learn just how and why arthroscopic procedures combined with physical therapy may be the best solutions for your child.
Twenty years ago, if you experienced an injury to your knee which required surgery, you could expect weeks of down time as well as very limited mobility in the knee, combined with heavy doses of pain medication and a large scar. Today, that same procedure requires only days of reduced, but not halted activity. This is because rather than making a long slit made by traditional surgery, two small slits are made with arthroscopic procedures. One is for the actual tool and one is for the camera. The camera is inserted into one slit so that the surgeon can see how to navigate the tool in the other slit. Some of the benefits are listed below.
- Smaller incisions require less time to heal.
- Less time to heal means less pain medication.
- Smaller incisions reduce the risk of infection because of a smaller area and shortened healing time.
Physical therapy may be required after surgery. Patients who skip this part of the procedure are doing themselves a disservice. For example, if the patient has an issue that caused the sports injury to begin with, it may be corrected with physical therapy so it doesn't happen again. On the other hand, sometimes patients change their actions to accommodate injuries. Soon, those modifications become habits that might do more harm than good in the long run. Physical therapy can help prevent those harmful modifications and help the patient to strengthen weak muscles and other areas to help support the weaker areas. For example, a patient who has a pain their hip might limp and put more pressure on the other hip or knee. Some hip pains are due to lower back issues, so physical therapy in the form of back strengthening or corrective posture might help stop the pain altogether and prevent further issues with the hips or knees.
Whatever the sports injury or physical issue your child has, don't rely on your own experience with these injuries when new methods are available. For more information, contact Adult & Pediatric Orthopedics SC or a similar organization.Share