Clinical Evaluation – Sports & Active
Summit specialists take a comprehensive approach to their clinical examinations. Some of the most important factors for are a patient’s history and the physical exam. The specialist will ask you about what your symptoms are, and how long they have been going on, if it was related to an injury, what makes it feel better or worse. Then, he or she will examine the impacted area of the body to see how it moves and where it hurts. If it’s the patient’s first visit, often we will get an X-ray to see the bony anatomy. Depending on what we find, we might also get an MRI to look at the soft tissue components to get a more complete view.
When should I see a non-surgical sports medicine specialist versus a sports medicine surgeon?
Most primary care sports medicine specialists are doctors who have completed baseline training, often in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine or rehabilitation medicine, before pursuing additional sports medicine training. They do not have expertise in surgery. Sports medicine surgeons, however, have completed an orthopedic surgery residency. Orthopedic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Both non-operative sports medicine specialists and surgeons will suggest conservative approaches first, whenever possible and safe for you. The only time when you should default to a sports medicine surgeon is if you are fairly certain your situation will require a procedure to remedy. Otherwise, both are great options and provide exceptional sports medicine care.
Is Sports Medicine only for athletes in formal sports?
No, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to seek help from a sports medicine professional. Sports medicine professionals treat people who participate in sports just for fun or want to get better results from their exercise program. They also treat people who have suffered injuries and want to regain full function, as well as people who have disabilities and want to increase their mobility and capabilities.
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Summit sports medicine surgeon Mikhail Klimstra, M.D., discusses what’s next when an athlete has a knee ligament injury.