High Impact Sports Medicine
Expert area physicians reflect on common sports related injuries an preventative measures
By KATIE GANTT
Simply put, life changes in the south once football season kicks off. While fans, coaches, and players alike love the high-en-ergy, adrenaline pumping atmosphere of games— it’s that same intensity that leads to frequent player injuries in this high impact sport. Read on to learn about some of the more common sports related injuries seen by our local, expert sports medi-cine physicians. ἀey also provide tips on how athletes and non-athletes alike can stay in better shape to avoid sports related and general injury.
Wendell Homes, M.D. — Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center Dr. Wendell Holmes is the co-medical director of sports medicine at Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center. Dr. Holmes received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University in chemical engineering and went on to graduate medical school from the University of South Car-olina School of Medicine in Columbia, where he currently serves as a clinical assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. He spent 17 years practicing as a sports medicine surgeon at the Moore Clinic before joining Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center.Two of the most common sports related injuries Dr. Holmes encounters are ankle sprains and Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears —more commonly known as ACL tears. “Ankle sprains are pretty treatable with crutches, a walking boot, and rehab with an athletic trainer or phys-ical therapist,” he explains. College football fans will likely remember Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle injury in last season’s SEC championship game against Georgia, which resulted in surgery. “ἀat’s very uncommon in the case of a sprained ankle,” Holmes says. “His was an extreme form of the injury. ACL tears, on the other hand, are often season ending for athletes, requiring surgery to reconstruct ligaments. Recovery time typically ranges from six to eight months.”To prevent injury in athletes and non-athletes alike, Dr. Holmes prescribes some simple advice: maintain excellent, physical health (in the off season too)! He lists four key, physical components: Strength, Ḁexibility, agility training, and endurance.
Lexington native Justin R. Knight, MD, received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia and earned his medical degree from Emory University of Medicine in Atlanta. He also completed a fellowship in Miami where he worked with collegiate and professional athletes. “We treated almost every team in South Florida,” he said. “We also flew to Tampa every Sunday to provide care for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If players needed surgery, the team would fly them to see us in Miami.”At Southeastern Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine on the Lexington Medical Center cam-pus in West Columbia, most of the sports-related injuries Dr. Knight treats are in the knees and shoulders. “The biggest part of my practice at this stage is shoulder pathology,” he said. “Labral tears related to shoulder instability are really common in high energy collisions that occur in contact sports at the high school and college levels.” He also explained the biggest diᴀerence between injuries in high school and college athletes. “College athletes are typically more muscular and faster, so they have higher energy injuries.”Dr. Knight and his team specialize in minimally-invasive surgeries. “This type of surgery has a quicker recovery period with less pain and discomfort,” he said. Throscopic surgeries have a quicker recovery period with less pain and discomfort,” he says
Bradley S. Aspey, M.D. — Midlands Orthopaedics & NeurosurgeryDr. Bradley S. Aspey completed medical school at UCLA, followed by his Orthopaedic Surgery residency— also at UCLA. He played on the Division 1 UC Irvine Men’s Soccer Team for 4 years during undergraduate and was an Academic All American. “I specialize in sports medicine and arthroscopic, minimally invasive surgery. Having been a collegiate athlete myself and undergoing surgery in college for a sports injury, I understand the importance of a speedy and full recovery,” he says.Dr. Aspey reports seeing ACL tears and shoulder dislocations as two of the most common sports related injuries in his practice. “ἀese can be devastating injuries for athletes, but we have developed very good surgical techniques to fix these injuries that allow athletes to get back to playing very high-level sports,” he says. “Arthroscopic surgical techniques allow for probably over 90% of orthopaedic surgery to now be performed on an outpatient basis — not requiring a hospital stay.” He cautions high school and college athletes to make sure they give their body enough rest as a preventative measure against injury. Many of the injuries he treats are “overuse injuries” such as: achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, rotator cuᴀ tendonitis, little leaguers’ elbow, etc. “So many young athletes play sports year-round and play on multiple teams at the same time which can predispose them to these overuse injuries,” he explains.Whether you get your football fix on Friday night or Saturday afternoon and whether you pull for the boys in garnet or the boys in orange, enjoy the season and stay healthy with the help of our wonderful local physicians!