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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Philosophy of Treating Athletic Injuries (Part I)

The treatment of athletic injuries is based on many principles that must be applied to the individual with his/her injury. The experience and knowledge base of the doctor and therapist become very important to the patient. The decisions of diagnosis, cause, when to cast, when to x ray, when to inject, and when to stop all activity must be carefully thought out.

Why is it not a cook book lesson plan to be easily followed by any doctor or therapist? Understanding the individuality among athletes is the key to understanding the complexity of treatment of athletic injuries. Each similar injury has a different set of circumstances associated with it. There may be differences in:

1. severity of injury

2. severity of the cause

3. length of time that the injury has been present

4. amount of residual weakness, swelling, scar tissue accumulation, or stiffness

5. suddenness of the injury

6. individual’s sport

7. individual’s physical, psychological, or emotional need to return to activity

8. previous treatment

9. speed of return to activity

10. pain tolerance, and

11. multiplicity of the problems, etc.

Does this give you a hint of the complexity?

The patient is a stranger to the doctor or therapist on the first visit with sometimes a limited amount of time to sense the patient’s problem, frustration, cause or causes, and possible treatment plans, etc. Many decisions are then made. Part 2 tomorrow.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.