Injuries and Problems

Sports and performance injuries are as varied as the range of activities involved.

Many problems can be solved using rehabilitation and simple strengthening exercises. But we have a complete range of rehabilitative and surgical options, including arthroscopic and minimally invasive procedures.

Hand/Upper extremities

Hand and upper extremity problems make up a large percentage of performance injuries, many of which occur from repetitive use or trauma. Our sports medicine specialists offer a complete range of hand, wrist, and elbow rehabilitation and teach proper conditioning and technique. Our orthopaedic surgeons are experienced in the latest treatments for traumas to these areas, including microvascular, arthroscopic, and reconstructive surgery.

We also provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment of hand and wrist disorders, including:

  • jersey finger (flexor tendon rupture)
  • mallet finger (extensor tendon rupture)
  • skier’s thumb (rupture of ulnar collateral ligament of thumb)
  • scaphoid (navicular) fracture
  • carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve impingement at the wrist)
  • biker’s wrist (ulnar neuritis at the wrist)

Elbow

“Tennis elbow” is one of the more common upper extremity problems we treat. Other common elbow injuries are:

  • baseball or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  • cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar neuritis at the elbow)
  • distal biceps tendon rupture

Shoulder and Collarbone

The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body, and its function affects almost every activity. If specialized rehabilitation doesn’t help, we can perform minimally invasive or total reconstructive surgery.

Common shoulder problems we treat include:

  • broken collarbone
  • dislocated shoulder
  • fractured clavicle
  • frozen shoulder
  • rotator cuff tears
  • separated shoulder
  • shoulder impingement
  • shoulder sprain

Head/Concussion

Concussions are most common in contact sports such as football, but concussions and head injuries can occur in any sport or activity. In fact, among children 14 and younger, football is a distant second to cycling in average head injuries per year.

Our experts can consult with neurologists neurosurgeons to compare an athlete’s brain function before and after a suspected concussion and make safe return-to-play decisions.

Foot and Ankle/joint

Acute ankle injuries — sprains, bone fractures, and joint dislocations — are the most common sports injuries. When possible, our experts can teach rehabilitative techniques that will heal and strengthen the joint. In cases of severe injury, our surgeons can perform surgery to repair damaged ligaments or total reconstructive surgery. We can also consult with WVU podiatrists for unusual or complex cases.

The foot and ankle problems we treat include:

  • achilles tendonitis
  • ankle fracture
  • ankle sprain
  • foot fracture
  • heel pain (plantar fasciitis)
  • toe fractures
  • toe sprain
  • turf toe

Knee/hip/leg

We specialize in knee and hip replacement, using the latest devices and techniques. Many knee-, leg- and hip-related performance injuries are muscle-related or ligament-related strains or inflammation, which can cause pain and reduce movement. We treat knee, leg, and hip problems using rehabilitation, medication, and surgery.

Knee problems we treat include:

  • anterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL)
  • sprains
  • kneecap bursitis
  • meniscal tear
  • patella tendinitis
  • posterior cruciate ligament injuries (PCL)

Hip problems we treat include:

  • hip pointer (contusions)
  • stress fracture
  • osteitis pubis (muscle pulls)
  • snapping hip syndrome
  • traumatic hip subluxation and dislocation
  • arthritis

Leg problems we treat include:

  • calf strain
  • femur fracture
  • shin splints
  • anterior compartment syndrome

Spine, neck, and back

With a goal of alleviating pain and restoring function, our specialists provide comprehensive diagnosis and pain management of spinal problems, such as herniated discs, pinched nerves, neck pain, and low back pain.

We work with the patient to determine the best course of action, whether it’s minimally invasive surgery, traditional surgery, or non-operative management of the problem. We also have access to specialists in other disciplines who can help tailor a course of treatment to each patient’s specific needs. The WVUH Spine Center, operated jointly by the departments of Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery, combines the expertise of WVU neurologists, orthopaedic specialists, neurosurgeons, pain management physicians, and rehabilitation services to target every patient’s particular problem and provide optimal treatment.

Spine, back, and neck problems we treat include:

  • herniated discs
  • spinal cord injuries
  • osteoarthritis
  • sciatica
  • scoliosis
  • trauma
  • fibromyalgia
  • lumbar problems

Hernia/pulled groin

Activities that require a lot of bending over and leaning forward can lead to sports hernia, also known as athletic pubalgia. Anti-inflammatory medicines (such as ibuprofen) or physical therapy are the first options we try. If those don’t relieve symptoms, surgery can be performed.

Asthma/illness, and nutrition

Our experts have experience diagnosing and treating exercise-induced asthma, heat-related illnesses, and chronic infections in children and adults.

In many cases, we can prescribe a medication that can be used during your activity.

We also provide guidance on nutrition for sports performance.

Physical examinations

We perform complete physical examinations for athletes of all ages to identify historical or physical factors that may predispose the athlete to injury.and to assess athletic and physical fitness. Along with an overall health assessment, we evaluate musculoskeletal fitness.