Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

The plantar fascia is a tough thick band. Its' fibrous structures help hold up the arch - from the heel to the ball of the foot. A rich, unrestricted blood supply and high degree of flexibility are essential for proper functioning. A minor tear or pull in the fascia can painfully hamper daily activities. It can mimic the pain of a stone bruise in the heel. "If heel pain is felt during the first few steps after sleep, I immediately think of a problem with the plantar fascia", says Dr William Hamilton, Orthopedic Surgeon for the NY City Ballet. Some Common Causes Over-training...Read more
Direct trauma to the male genitalia can result in an extremely painful and potentially serious injury. In most cases, the injury is similar to other soft tissue injuries with associated pain and swelling. However, severe trauma may lead to a twisting of the testes or testicular rupture, both of which require immediate medical attention. Signs and Symptoms Excruciating pain, which fortunately lasts only a few minutes. Athlete may experience nausea from the pain. On-Site Management Place Athlete in Position of Comfort. In many cases, the athlete will lie on his back and bring his knees to his...Read more
Injuries to the eye are not uncommon, but they are usually not severe since the globe (eyeball) itself is protected by surrounding bones (orbit) and the eye lids. When assessing the severity of any injury, all three aspects of the eye - the globe, orbit and eye lids - should be inspected. Contusions around the eye usually result from a direct blow which causes bleeding under the skin. If there is any suspicion of a fracture, and/or the athlete experiences blurred vision, double vision, or tunnel vision that does not clear within five minutes, the athlete should be immediately referred to a...Read more
Blisters are localized accumulations of fluid between layers of skin. They are usually caused by friction or direct pressure on the skin due to poorly fitting shoes, improper taping, and/or overuse. A "hot-spot" (warm reddened area) is the precursor to a blister. Continued friction and irritation leads to the formation of a serum-filled (clear fluid)or blood blister. Signs and Symptoms • Localized swelling, fluid underneath skin • Redness • Pain On-Site Management: Remove the irritant that is causing the blister and cover the blister with a blister pad or petroleum...Read more
Tennis elbow is a chronic strain and/or inflammation where the extensor muscles of the wrist attach on the outside of the elbow joint. The condition is usually caused by overuse of weak, or inflexible wrist muscles, repetitive stress, improper technique, and/or poor warm-up. The condition most often occurs in beginner players who have poor technique. However, more advanced players who hit a topspin backhand stroke are also susceptible. Also known as "lateral epicondylitis," tennis elbow affects the lateral side of the elbow while “pitcher’s elbow" or "golfers...Read more
A laceration is a disruption of the deeper layers of skin, which has the risk of becoming infected. Lacerations may not heal well if the edges of the wound are not brought together properly, which could lead to permanent scar formation. Lacerations to the facial area usually result in extensive bleeding, as there are lots of capillaries in the thin, soft skin of the head. The amount of blood associated with a facial injury, however, is not always indicative of the severity of the injury. If sutures are required, they need not be put in immediately, but the delay should not exceed three or...Read more
Foreign bodies entering the eye are not uncommon, particularly in field sports. Dirt, grass, and field marking materials (chalk, lime) can irritate the eye and care must be taken to wash the eye thoroughly. Signs and Symptoms Eye pain. Sensation of having something in the eye. Tearing and frequent blinking (caused by the body's natural defense mechanisms attempting to clear the foreign particle). On-Site Management Protect the Eye. Avoid rubbing the eye and have the athlete close their eye until the pain and burning subside. Protect the eye from bright light. Gently Remove Object. If the...Read more
Growth plates and epiphyses are areas located at the ends of long bones, in which new bone is produced. Pre-adolescent and adolescent bones are not yet mature and trauma can lead to disruption of bone growth patterns by causing the growth plate to close prematurely. The growth plate may be injured with greater frequency than injuries to ligaments and bones due to the fact that the growth plate at this stage is the weakest link in the musculoskeletal system. Forces through muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone most commonly affect growth plates in the wrist, ankle, knee, and elbow joints...Read more
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs lined with synovial membrane that are usually located in or close to joints. They function to reduce friction created by the movements of skin, tendons, and muscles over rough bony surfaces. Bursae may become inflamed as a result of excess frictional rubbing (overuse) or direct trauma or prolonged point pressure. Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of a bursa sac. As a protective mechanism, bursae swell in order to limit movements that increase both friction and subsequentRead more
Caused by a fall on the outstretched hand, a scaphoid fracture often goes unreported and unrecognized for many months after it has occurred. Wrist injuries are common and usually consist of minor sprains, strains and contusions. A "sprained" wrist should never be taken lightly and should always be considered a fracture until proven otherwise. Anatomical Details The scaphoid bone is located on the thumb side of the wrist. It can be palpated by compressing between the radius and second row of carpal bones. It is important to remember that the wrist can move in any one of six different...Read more