ASK THE EXPERT: Avoiding common summer sports injuries

Ask the Expert

Greenville, SC (WSPA)- Summer sports are well underway.

The warmer weather opens up new possibilities for exercise and activity. However, be aware of what your body can handle.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 News Taylor Murray spoke with two orthopedic surgeons about the most common sports injuries they’re seeing right now and the best ways to avoid them.

“There are a lot of random injuries that we will see throughout the year that may be a little bit more likely to happen with summer.”

Dr. Shay Koch, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeon, Bon Secours St. Francis Health

Orthopedic sports medicine surgeons, Dr. Shay Koch and Dr. Scott Watson say knee injuries to the ACL or meniscus are pretty common.

“People come in and they’ve actually got a meniscus tear from trying to do a little too much, maybe at the beach get hit by a wave and it shakes them off balance,” Dr. Koch said.

When it comes to ACL tears, some patients are candidates for non-operative treatment. Most of the time, doctors Watson and Koch recommend surgical reconstruction.

“It’s a pretty predictable recovery as long as the surgery is done well and the patient commits to the rehab with skilled physical therapists,” Dr. Watson said.

Sports performed in the summer, like volleyball, baseball, swimming, and even beach activities like bocce ball or frisbee can increase your chances of another common injury– shoulder injuries.

“Usually, I see people with rotator cuff tears. They will have pain that goes from just about the top and down to the elbow, maybe in the forearm on occasion,” Dr. Koch said.

“Another shoulder injury we see is labrum injuries or shoulder instability injuries to the shoulder. The ball slides out of the socket and it tears the labrum which creates more of an instability sensation of the shoulder,” Dr. Watson said.

An MRI can be used to determine if the shoulder injury is a tear. Sometimes surgery is needed, but other rehab procedures are also available.

“We can rehab it if it’s a very small tear or partial tear and it doesn’t seem like there was a lot of trauma involved… or they may get a cortisone injection, which is also known as a steroid shot,” Dr. Koch said.

Hamstring injuries also pick up during the summer months. Watersports, like waterskiing, can lead to the injury. The sooner you visit the doctor to have your hamstring evaluated, the better chance you have to make a full recovery.

“If after a few days the symptoms aren’t improving, then we would recommend evaluation by someone on our team or another qualified provider.”

Dr. Scott Watson, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeon, Bon Secours St. Francis Health

Dr. Koch and Dr. Watson say that focusing on one sport, 12 months out of the year, leads to a higher rate of over-use injuries. They recommend cross-training during the summer months or even taking time off.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.

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