Friday, September 27, 2013

Sports Medicine: Medical Care with a Twist

Sports doctors are known as medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating the injuries of athletes. They focus on joint, bone and muscle health, and they also give general medical care to the people they work with. The field of sports medicine prepares these doctors for a flexible work environment, as they may have to work in non-traditional medical facilities such as a sporting venue clinic or in professional or college-level sporting events. In fact, their field continues to evolve as some of them venture into fitness centers, while others choose to focus on specific groups like geriatric populations or school-age children.

Those who aspire to be sports doctors must first complete a bachelor's degree, complete with a pre-med concentration so they have sufficient background in biology, chemistry, and physics. They will also be required to pass the Medical College Admission Test so they can be accepted into medical school. Those who pursue sports medicine are usually sports lovers themselves, and are generally involved in some kind of team or individual sports activity. The majority complete a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) or a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Every state mandates that these doctors have to be licensed. Being certified by a recognized organization also adds to their credentials. The certification shows that the sports doctor has met the professional requirements of the organization. The American Board of Medical Specialists and the American Osteopathic Association are the organizations that provide this certification.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Most Common Orthopedic Problems in Children

Pediatric orthopedics is a branch of orthopedics that deals with children's orthopedic issues. Orthopedic treatment in children is very different from that of adults, and there are some orthopedic conditions that usually occur in children.

Pigeon Toes
Pigeon toes is a condition wherein the child's toes are inward when he is walking. This is often connected to the child's position while in the womb of his mother. The condition is usually corrected by doctors through stretching exercises, special footwear, or physical therapy. In cases where there is a rigid deformity, it is treated with a cast.

Children who are born with clubfeet have short tendons on the inside and back of their feet. This results in the toes being pulled down and inwards. Orthopedic surgery is done to babies with clubfeet right after the baby is born. To correct the problem, the surgeon will manipulate the feet into its right position and will cast it weekly.

Toe Walking
Toe Walking is very common among children who are still learning to walk. However, when the children is already beyond 2 years old and is still toe walking, then it should be corrected by a pediatric orthopedic doctor. Continued toe walking is sometimes connected with cerebral palsy and other nervous system problems. It is sometimes treated by casting the calf and ankle for up to six weeks.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fast Facts about Sports Injury and Medicine

Sports injury refers to a rather broad scope of conditions, with the common denominator that they are often sustained by people who were engaging in sporting activities. While many are caused by accidents, some are quite predictable, such as the dangers of sustaining muscle cramps on the field because you didn’t warm up before playing.

These common sporting injuries are the focus of many medical professionals in the relatively new branch of medicine called sports medicine. Medical practitioners like orthopedic doctors, therapists, and even dentists in this field work to ensure that athletes like you know exactly how to avoid injuries, as well as help you get better when you do get one.

Common sports injuries range from relatively minor conditions like sprains, muscle spasms, and joint pains, to more severe cases like torn ligaments, broken knees, and dislocations. There are also two classes of these injuries: acute, or those occurring suddenly in the middle of a game, and chronic, which happens over time, when you play constantly.

When the injury you're suffering goes to the point of severe swelling or extreme pain, or if you notice that something feels unstable (possibly a dislocated bone), get medical help immediately. However, anything much less than this could probably be cured by resting at home, nevertheless it's always a good idea to at least inform your doctor about it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Orthopedic Surgery and Cerebral Palsy

Orthopedic surgery is done to treat tight muscles and spasticity that are connected to cerebral palsy. In this procedure, a cut is made on the skin where the affected muscle is located, and parts of this muscle are slit so that the tightness is released.

This procedure is intended to remedy the problems related to cerebral palsy. The goals of this surgery are: to loosen muscles that make the hips turn to increase hip movement, loosen the muscles at the back of the thigh so that the muscles will be able to control the tension on the thigh and knee, and to loosen the tendon at the back of the ankle to provide the child with a flatter foot, allowing him to walk properly.

When planning surgery for your child, doctors may postpone it until the child is older than 2. By this time, the doctor is able to release more tight muscles during the surgery than releasing only one. This will lessen the chances of the procedure having to be performed again.

However, these corrections may sometimes be temporary, since while the person is growing, the muscles may become tighter and can cause contractures. Risks of bleeding, infection, and need for further surgery may also be high when it is done. So it is always best that you are 100 percent sure of your decision before putting your child through any surgery.