Common Questions – Sports Medicine
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.