Ask Dr. Furmanek: How Do I Benefit From The Care Of A Sports Medicine Specialist?
Sports medicine specialist Dr. Jeffrey Furmanek explains the advantages of treatment provided by physicians with specialized training in sports medicine—and how their expertise can benefit you whether or not you are an athlete.
“Being a sports medicine physician and surgeon means being specifically trained in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries,” explains sports medicine specialist Dr. Jeffrey Furmanek. “Although many of these injuries are linked to athletic activity, conditions like ankle sprains and knee injuries can affect anyone—not just athletes.”
Sports medicine physicians offer expertise in the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Some of the most common injuries they treat include:
- Acute injuries. These are injuries that occur as the result of a sudden impact or fall, such as ankle sprains, muscle strains, knee and shoulder injuries, and bone fractures.
- Overuse injuries. These problems develop over time when a repetitive motion causes stress on bone or tissue that results in gradual damage. Tendinitis and stress fractures are examples of overuse injuries.
When you consult with a sports medicine specialist, you also benefit from their additional training in injury prevention, strength training and conditioning, and healthy lifestyle promotion.
“Your specialist becomes your partner in managing your injury,” explains Dr. Furmanek. “There are nuances to each individual diagnosis. One person may respond best to physical therapy. Another patient may prefer a longer regimen of conservative treatment options before considering surgery. Your specialist will work with you to make sure you are taking appropriate steps that are comfortable for you, and will monitor your progress to make sure you don’t put your injured limb or joint at risk. If a tailored nonsurgical treatment plan fails, you and your specialist can consider your surgical options.
“A specialist is going to be more familiar with all the different types of surgery available,” he continues. “He or she has more experience with which surgery best addresses the specific problem, and is trained to respect the lifestyle objectives that the patient wants to protect.”
As a sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Furmanek performs about 450 shoulder and knee surgeries every year. Like his fellow specialists, he follows developing advances in his area, and can educate patients about all available treatment risks and benefits. Subspecialty training doesn’t just teach these focused practitioners how to perform surgery, it also trains them to handle complications in difficult cases where surgery—and sometimes multiple past surgeries—have failed. That level of expertise has been shown to make a positive difference in surgical outcomes.
“I am also going to factor my patient’s life-specific activities into consideration,” says Dr. Furmanek. “We call this ‘directing our care.’ I want to know how your symptoms are affecting your life. Are you a runner? If an injury only hurts when you run, runners who want to get back on the trails will probably be more interested in surgical options to reduce pain and improve function. For non-runners, surgical options may have a much lower priority. Our tailored care means that we work with you to create a personalized treatment plan with your objectives in mind.”
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
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