You see it all the time in the media…horrific sports injuries that change an athlete’s life in the blink of an eye. However, your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon finds that repetitive activity over time leading to overuse can cause equally substantial injuries.
Our bones and soft tissues can all absorb stress, but to a limit, at which point they begin to get weak. Also, the repetitive nature of activities such as the impact from running and/or torque from a twisting motion can compound the injury.
Think of a bone in your body as a paper clip. Although it’s very strong, when twisted or bent repeatedly, it becomes brittle and breaks. With bones, athletes can experience stress reaction injuries that can lead to stress fractures.
On the other hand, your soft tissues can be compared to a rubber band because of their elasticity. But just like soft tissue failure, a rubber band can break when pushed beyond its limit. This can occur in athletes as the result of inadequate warm up prior to their routine.
But this problem can’t be solved unless both the athletes and their coaches understand that consistent and repetitive overuse can lead to injury. Once properly diagnosed, the orthopedic doctor must then decide on the proper treatment that will protect the athlete but also let him continue in his/her sport of choice.
The key factor for New Orleans orthopedic specialists in keeping an athlete healthy over the long term basically comes down to knowing when too much is being done too soon.