If you’ve ever been injured on the field of play, you may have shrugged it off. You may, for instance, have ignored a badly sprained ankle, taped it up tight and played through the pain. While you may have largely forgotten that old injury, your body has not. Post traumatic sports injuries are a lot like dings and dents in a car. Over time, small injuries, or bigger ones, tend to add up.
Post traumatic arthritis is heavily linked to osteoarthritis (OA) which can be exacerbated by aging, and increased weight gain. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints and is the most common chronic conditions affecting the joints. Osteoarthritis causes a breakdown in the cartilage, which cushions the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. An estimated fifteen percent of osteoarthritis cases can be directly traced back to an injury.
The simple fact is that if you have had a bone fracture, or even an injury to a ligament (which attach bone to bone), or a tendon (which connects muscle to bone) in a joint, you may develop osteoarthritis in that joint. This is true even if you had the bone reset properly in a cast or surgically repaired. Damaging a joint makes you seven times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in that joint.
Is it Wear or Tear or Caused by an Injury?
Osteoarthritis caused by simple wear and tear typically begins to occur in the sixth decade of life. Osteoarthritis caused by an injury may develop much earlier. Additionally, if the arthritis is limited to one joint, such as a knee, it is more likely to be caused by injury. Multiple joints on the other hand, can indicate an autoimmune response has caused the inflammation.
Many former athletes such as baseball and football players can point to a specific injury or series of injuries that plague them in later years. You can protect yourself from some of the damaging effects of sports injuries by being careful not to stress the joint, increasing the damage.
Regular exercise that does not push the joint too far is also helpful for delaying the progression of the disease. You should also take care to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight range. Osteoarthritis is usually treated by anti-inflammatory medications, targeted physical therapy and pain medications. In some cases, joint replacement can become necessary to restore functionality and minimize pain.
If you are looking for a sports medicine specialist on the leading edge of sports injury and osteoarthritis treatment in the Clinton Township area, then look no further than Dr. Jeffrey Carroll at Movement Orthopedics. Dr. Carroll has the experience and advanced training you need to get to and stay at, the top of your game, both on the field of glory, and in the game of life. Please call us today at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online.