On today’s episode we’re focusing on return to play after various orthopedic injuries: what factors influence the timing of return, what criteria are used to determine clearance and how this all differs between sports.
Robin West, MD, can still recall one of her first patients. The youth athlete had torn a ligament in his knee. “He and his dad wanted to know how soon he could get back to the football playoffs,” recalled West, an orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist, and the Chair of Inova Sports Medicine. “If I had just been a surgeon, without sports medicine fellowship training and experience, I wouldn’t really have known how to answer that question.”
Baseball fans across the country marked opening day (March 29) on their calendars. Behind the scenes, as Lead Team Physician for the Washington Nationals, I have been busy preparing for months with my sports medicine colleagues – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
In 2009, The New York Times reported that professional football player Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers underwent PRP therapy for a sprained medial collateral ligament. The Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XLIII two weeks later, and Hines credited the PRP therapy with his speedy recovery.
When the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament, one of four major ligaments in the knee) is damaged, it results in significantly decreased quality of life (both physical and psychological) for the athlete and their family.