Sports Medicine

Caring for sports injuries in Mount Pleasant

At East Cooper Medical Center, we’re here with the latest technology to prevent, diagnose and treat sports injuries. Our sports medicine doctors and staff offer a team approach to care in Mount Pleasant, SC. Your personalized treatment plan is designed with input from our team of sports orthopedic surgeons, nonsurgical sports medicine doctors, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers.

What Is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine, also called sports and exercise medicine (SEM), is a branch of medicine that focuses on the preventive care and treatment of injuries and conditions related to exercise and sports. The goal of sports medicine is to help athletes and active people achieve their training goals, as well as engage in physical activities, exercise and sports as safely as possible.

Who Is at Risk for Sports Injuries?

As the name suggests, sports injuries usually occur in the middle of a sports game or exercise. You may be at a higher risk for a sports or exercise injury if you

  • Play contact sports
  • Haven’t been physically active in a while and just returned to playing or training recently
  • Don’t warm up or cool down properly before and after training or exercise
  • Are overweight

What Kind of Doctor Treats Sports Injuries?

A sports medicine doctor (or sports injury doctor) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise. Before finishing a two-year fellowship in sports medicine and earning a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Sports Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), these doctors are first certified in a specialization, such as orthopedics, emergency medicine, pediatrics, family practice or internal medicine.

Some sports medicine doctors cater to nonoperative musculoskeletal conditions. On the other hand, some are considered sports orthopedic surgeons who are more focused on surgical treatment options for sports injuries.

You may find sports medicine doctors who work exclusively with athletes, or with specific teams of athletes, while others work with all types of patients.

For both traumatic injuries and chronic conditions caused by overuse, you’re in good hands with the East Cooper sports medicine doctors in Mount Pleasant. Our sports medicine team focuses on injury prevention to keep you performing at your best.

When Should You See a Sports Medicine Doctor at East Cooper?

Sports injuries vary from mild to severe. The pain and swelling in minor sports injuries can usually be reduced by using the RICE method even at home. This stands for rest, ice application, compression and elevation. However, for medium to severe injuries, it’s recommended to see a sports medicine doctor.

Some of the common signs of a more severe sports injury include the following:

  • A popping or crunching sound in the joint
  • Having visible deformities, bumps or lumps
  • Instability
  • Not being able to stand, walk or function
  • Severe pain and swelling
  • Inability to put weight on the joint or weak area

How We Diagnose Sports Injuries

Sports medicine doctors at East Cooper may evaluate your injury or condition through imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan. They may also be able to diagnose through a physician exam or by reviewing your medical history to look for previous injuries.

Sports Injuries and Conditions We Treat at East Cooper

For sports and exercise injuries in the south, rely on East Cooper sports medicine doctors for treatment. They specialize in diagnosing and providing treatment for all types of sports injuries such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)/ Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCI)/ Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)/ Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) tears
  • Achilles tendon ruptures
  • Ankle sprains, twists and fractures
  • Muscle strains
  • Articular cartilage injuries
  • Shoulder labral tears
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Meniscus tears

Our Sports Injury Treatment Options

  • Our sports medicine doctors help treat sports injuries by offering and providing the following treatment options to patients in South Carolina:
  • Minimally invasive orthopedic procedures [i.e., robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery, arthroscopy, joint fusion, etc.]
  • Traditional surgery
  • Casts and splints [for partial tears]
  • Oral medication [i.e., pain killers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), etc.]
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to improve strength and movement
  • Rehabilitation therapy

What Do You Call a Sports Medicine Doctor?

Depending on your sports injury, you may see a primary care sports medicine doctor or an orthopedic sports medicine doctor. You can call either one a sports medicine doctor.

Orthopedic sports medicine doctors are orthopedic surgeons focusing on the surgical treatment of sports injuries. Primary care sports medicine doctors are typically pediatricians or family medicine doctors, focusing on treatment of sports injuries and conditions, such as heat exhaustion or concussions.

Minimally Invasive Technology to Treat Sports Injuries

To help athletes in South Carolina get back in the game faster, we offer Mako robotic-arm-assisted technology as a minimally invasive option for treatment. Your sports medicine doctor or orthopedic surgeon will perform the robotic surgery for less pain and recovery time.

How to Prevent Sports Injuries

Whether you’re jogging through Palmetto Islands County Park or training for the Clemson Tigers, it’s important to warm up by stretching. You can also prevent sports and exercise injuries by focusing on the following steps:

  • Pre-workout: While as mentioned, stretching is key, making sure you’re wearing the proper equipment, clothing and protection are also important to avoid injury.
  • During workout: Take it slow and make sure you’re using the correct form, such as keeping your back straight during a squat. If you’re unsure of the best form or technique to use during physical activity, ask a friend or a trainer at your gym.
  • Post-workout: Take a moment to cool down before heading to the showers. You can also relax your muscles with a massage, yoga or good night’s rest.

Nationally Recognized Orthopedic Care in Mount Pleasant

It is an honor to be recognized as a high performing hospital by the U.S. News and World Report for both hip and knee replacements. East Cooper has also been named to the list of 100 Top Hospitals by Watson Health and received five-star patient satisfaction for more than 10 consecutive years.

Access to Safe Care and Professional Advice for Sports Injuries

If you need treatment for an injury or you need advice on achieving your sports training goals, our sports medicine doctors are here for you. You can go to our convenient location in Mount Pleasant or use our physician finder tool. Simply request an appointment today, and you will hear from us as soon as possible.

Find a Sports Medicine Doctor

Request one of our sports medicine doctors to get a second opinion or a really good first one. We’re here with safe care to help you get back in the game.