ACL Injury

The bone structure of the knee joint is formed by the femur, the tibia, and the patella. The ACL is one of the four main ligaments within the knee that connect the femur to the tibia.

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Rotator Cuff Tears

There are a few options for repairing rotator cuff tears. Advancements in surgical techniques for rotator cuff repair include less invasive procedures. Talk to an orthopaedic surgeon to decide what option is best for you.

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Understanding Meniscus Tears

Menisci tear in different ways. Tears are noted by how they look, as well as where the tear occurs in the meniscus. Common tears include longitudinal, parrot-beak, flap, bucket handle, and mixed/complex.

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Sports Medicine FAQ

Arizona Performance Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics is renowned for their use of minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of both sports and non-athletic-related overuse injuries. Dr. Meszaros works one-on-one with patients to diagnosis, create a customized treatment plan to best fit each patient’s needs, and to help prevent future injuries.

  1. How does ACL tearing occur, and what are the treatment options?
  2. What are meniscal tears in the knee, and how are they treated?
  3. What are common sports-related shoulder injuries?
  4. What are the most common sports-related hip injuries?
  5. How is tennis elbow treated?

1. How does ACL tearing occur, and what are the treatment options?

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a crucial component of the knee joint, providing stability during movement. Tearing of the ACL occurs when the ligament is stretched by its normal range of motion must often during quick changes in direction, sudden decrease in speed, or an awkward landing after a jump. Classified as either partial or full tears, ligament tears initially cause pain, and swelling, and once the initial inflammation resolves, may lead to symptoms of instability (looseness and giving out). Ligaments, such as the ACL, naturally have a decreased blood flow so they are typically unable to heal on their own.

Patients with instability related to an ACL tear are at higher risk of injuring the other parts of the knee if the knee gives out again. Therefore, for active individuals and athletes, surgical reconstruction to restore the function of the ACL is recommended.

Patients who are not athletic or have no symptoms of looseness with an ACL tear, can be treated without surgery, usually with physical therapy and/or a brace.

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2. What are meniscal tears in the knee, and how are they treated?

The meniscus is the protective cartilage located between the articular (surface) cartilage in the knee. There are two meniscus in each knee, one on each half. They serve to cushion the knee, protecting the articular cartilage from damage. They also provide a small amount of knee stability. Meniscus tears are typically caused by an awkward pivoting or twisting motion, and can cause pain, swelling, catching/locking, or instability of the knee joint. Sometimes the meniscus wears out over time and can tear with normal activity. This type of tear is referred to as a degenerative meniscus tear.

For symptomatic meniscus tears, the best treatment is arthroscopic knee surgery to either debride (clean up) or repair the tissue.

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3. What are common sports-related shoulder injuries?

The most common sports-related shoulder injuries are rotator cuff tears, shoulder labral tears, and dislocation.

Often considered a progressive overuse injury, rotator cuff tears can also be caused by trauma, such as falling, or the improper lifting of heavy objects. For patients who have sustained a rotator cuff tear, arthroscopic surgery to debride the damaged tendons or reattach the torn tendon to the bone may be the best treatment option.

Labral tearing is often the result of trauma, dislocation, structural abnormalities, or constant repetitive motion. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery to debride or repair the torn cartilage is often required to relieve pain.

Shoulder dislocation occurs when the ball of the joint either partially or completely dislocates from the socket, most often due to a fall or trauma. Dislocation can cause pain and recurrent dislocations with normal use. If the shoulder continues to dislocate after the initial injury, surgery may be recommended to “tighten” the shoulder.

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4. What are the most common sports-related hip injuries?

Labral tearing is one of the most common sports-related hip injuries, often sustained by athletes who participate in high-intensity contact sports. Labral tearing can also be developed from constant repetitive motion of the hip joint over long periods, which can cause an increase in friction during movement and the wearing away of the protective cartilage. Soccer players, football players, and golfers have a higher risk of suffering from a labral tear because of the twisting of the hip joint seen in these sports.

Some patients experience noticeable symptoms after sustaining a labral tear, but the majority of patients suffer from locking and stiffness of the hip joint, pain in the hip and groin areas during movement, and a decrease in range of motion. Patients suffering from less severe tears are often able to relieve pain symptoms using non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory drugs. However, for patients suffering from increasing pain symptoms or full tears, hip arthroscopy and/or cartilage restoration may be required to repair the damage cartilage and restore pain-free joint movement.

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5. How is tennis elbow treated?

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury often found in athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive swinging, such as tennis or baseball. Tennis elbow usually develops slowly over time as the muscles surrounding the elbow joint weaken, causing the tendons connected to the joint bones to inflame and even tear. As the condition develops, patients will often experience a burning sensation around the elbow joint, increasing pain that may radiates up and down the arm, and weakness in the wrist and arm.

The majority of patients suffering for tennis elbow are able to relieve symptoms through a combination of rest, bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and physical therapy. For patients who do not respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Meszaros may suggest elbow surgery to debride the damaged tendons may be necessary to relieve symptoms.

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