Health » Sports Injuries: Prevention and Treatment

Sports Injuries: Prevention and Treatment

Whether one plays a sport for entertainment, recreation or for professional reasons, the chances of an injury are always there, especially with contact sports like football, basketball, rugby etc.


Many careers of famous sportsmen and women have been cut short due to sport related injuries. Among them, knee related sports injuries are the dreaded ones.


Recent advances in Sports medicine have changed this scenario!


Injuries in sports are still common but are not the dead end of one’s sporting career now!


Sports medicine services provide comprehensive evaluation and management of a wide range of sports related injuries especially to the knee, foot, ankle, shoulder and hip regions.


The extent of the sports injury problem calls for preventative action based on the results of epidemiological research.




Following few basic steps can go a long way in prevention of sport related injuries 

Every workout should start with a gentle warm-up to prevent common sports injuries.

Getting warmed up increases blood flow to the muscles, gets you more flexible, and thus decreases injury risk.

Overuse injuries are common and preventable… whether it's hiking, running, or team sports, its recommended to do “pre-participation training”  first by lightly working the relevant muscle groups in the weeks before the activity.

Avoid extreme muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue takes away all your protective mechanisms and increases your risk of all injuries to a significant extent.” You can always come out to play again next weekend — if you don't get injured today. So don’t over stress yourself on a single day.

Use protective gear relevant to the sports even if you are playing for entertainment/recreational purpose.




This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury and your activity level.


The goal of the treatment is to heal and rehabilitate the injury of the patient, so that he/ she can return to his/her favourite activity as quickly as possible.


Sport injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles or tendons in all age groups, more so in young active individuals especially involved in activities like football, basketball, cricket, tennis and similar demanding sports.


Minor Sport Injuries.

Principle of management:  PRICE

P — Protect from further injury. For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.

R — Restrict activity. Restricting activity will prevent worsening of the injury.

I — apply Ice. Apply ice immediately after a common sports injury. “Ice is the miracle drug” for sports injuries. It's an anti-inflammatory, without many side effects. Use ice for 15-20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Don't use heat during this time — it encourages swelling and inflammation.

C — apply Compression. Compression with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.

E — Elevate the injured area. Elevating the injured area above the heart level will also reduce swelling.


Arthroscopy is one of the surgical management options in sports injuries. Arthroscopy is a key hole surgical procedure where the orthopaedic surgeons visualize, diagnose, and in many cases treat the problem of the patient.


It is done by minimally invasive technique, where small incisions are done around the affected joint, then using special cameras and instruments, the procedure is carried on.


Joints where these key-hole surgeries commonly done are the knees, shoulders, ankles but rarely wrist and elbows too.

The advantages of this minimal invasive arthroscopy surgery over traditional surgery include:


Smaller incisions, so less extensive damage to muscles  and tendons, less scarring

Less bleeding during surgery

Faster recovery and less duration of stay in hospital

Faster and more comfortable rehabilitation

Early return to sports activities 


The knee injuries especially the cruciate ligament injuries and meniscal injuries are very well treated surgically by this technique. Sportsmen who were once asked to forget about competitive participation following such injuries, now return to their pre injury state within 6-9 months and to competitive sports within a year. 


The role of physiotherapy rehabilitation in getting such sportsmen back cannot be overlooked.  It is of significant importance if not more, as the primary surgery itself.


So arthroscopy is indeed a boon to the sport lovers and also others, with injuries amicable to treatment by this method.


Don’t let the injuries prevent you from getting back to your favourite sports! Stay fit, Stay healthy.


1448701241GMCdr gifDr. Mohammed Zakeer Ahmed

Specialist ‘A’ Ortho Surgeon

MBBS, Ms [Ortho], Fellowship In Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine [Singapore] 

Department of Orthopaedics

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