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Sports Medicine

Athletic injuries can happen to anyone. Whether you are a youth sports participant, a “weekend warrior” or collegiate athlete, the providers at Inland Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Clinic are ready to work with you. Together, we can find a treatment solution that will allow you to return to the activities that you enjoy. As team physicians for Washington State University and the University of Idaho, our providers have years of experience in diagnosing injuries and developing individualized treatment plans. Our ultimate goal is to help you recover from your current injury and help you prevent injuries in the future.

Inland Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Clinic providers have the extensive knowledge and experience to evaluate, diagnose and treat a number of conditions stemming from athletic injuries. These include but are not limited to:

Achilles Tendon Injuries
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and is used when you walk, run, and jump.

Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses from running and jumping, it is vulnerable to injury. A rupture of the tendon is a tearing and separation of the tendon fibers so that the tendon can no longer perform its normal function.
ACL Injuries
One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain, or tear.

Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their ACL.

If you have injured your ACL, you may require surgery to regain full function of your knee. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury and your activity level.
A dislocation is a separation of two bones where they meet at a joint. This injury can be very painful and can temporarily deform and immobilize the joint. The most common locations for a dislocation are shoulders and fingers, but can also occur in elbows, knees and hips.

A fracture is a broken bone, the same as a crack or a break. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured in any number of ways (crosswise, lengthwise, in multiple pieces).

Your doctor will do a careful examination to assess your overall condition, as well as the extent of the injury. They will talk with you about how the injury occurred, your symptoms, and your medical history.

The most common way to evaluate a fracture is with X-rays, which provide clear images of bone. Your doctor will likely use an X-ray to verify the diagnosis. X-rays can show whether a bone is intact or broken. They can also show the type of fracture and exactly where it is located within the bone.

Hip Strains
A hip strain occurs when one of the muscles supporting the hip joint is stretched beyond its limit or torn. Strains may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. A severe strain can limit your ability to move your hip.

Anyone can experience a hip strain just doing everyday tasks, but strains most often occur during sports activities.

Although many hip strains improve with simple home treatment, severe strains may require physical therapy or other medical treatment.
Lateral Epicondylitis
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Not surprisingly, playing tennis or other racquet sports can cause this condition. However, several other sports and activities besides sports can also put you at risk.

Tennis elbow is inflammation or, in some cases, microtearing of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

There are many treatment options for tennis elbow. In most cases, treatment involves a team approach. Primary doctors, physical therapists and, in some cases, surgeons work together to provide the most effective care.
Meniscus Injuries

Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. Athletes, particularly those who play contact sports, are at risk for meniscus tears. However, anyone at any age can tear the meniscus. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus.

The meniscus can tear from acute trauma or as the result of degenerative changes that happen over time.  Tears are noted by how they look, as well as where the tear occurs in the meniscus. Common tears include bucket handle, flap, and radial.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of shoulder pain and disability among adults. Each year, almost 2 million people in the United States visit their doctors because of rotator cuff tears.

A torn rotator cuff may weaken your shoulder. This means that many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do.

When one or more of the rotator cuff tendons is torn, the tendon becomes partially or completely detached from the head of the humerus. In many cases, torn tendons begin by fraying. As the damage progresses, the tendon can completely tear, sometimes with lifting a heavy object.

Shoulder Instability

Overhead throwing places extremely high stresses on the shoulder, specifically to the anatomy that keeps the shoulder stable. In throwing athletes, these high stresses are repeated many times and can lead to a wide range of overuse injuries.

Although throwing injuries in the shoulder most commonly occur in baseball pitchers, they can be seen in any athlete who participates in sports that require repetitive overhead motions, such as volleyball, tennis, and some track and field events.

When athletes throw repeatedly at high speed, significant stresses are placed on the anatomical structures that keep the humeral head centered in the glenoid socket.

Shoulder instability occurs when the head of the humerus slips out of the shoulder socket (dislocation). When the shoulder is loose and moves out of place repeatedly, it is called chronic shoulder instability.

In throwers, instability develops gradually over years from repetitive throwing that stretches the ligaments and creates increased laxity (looseness). If the rotator cuff structures are not able to control the laxity, then the shoulder will slip slightly off-center (subluxation) during the throwing motion.

Pain and loss of throwing velocity will be the initial symptoms, rather than a sensation of the shoulder slipping out of place. Occasionally, the thrower may feel the arm "go dead." A common term for instability many years ago was dead arm syndrome.

Shoulder Tendonitis

One of the most common physical complaints is shoulder pain. Your shoulder is made up of several joints combined with tendons and muscles that allow a great range of motion in your arm. Because so many different structures make up the shoulder, it is vulnerable to many different problems. The rotator cuff is a frequent source of pain in the shoulder.

The rotator cuff is a common source of pain in the shoulder. Pain can be the result of:
  • Tendinitis. The rotator cuff tendons can be irritated or damaged.
  • Bursitis. The bursa can become inflamed and swell with more fluid causing pain.
  • Impingement. When you raise your arm to shoulder height, the space between the acromion and rotator cuff narrows. The acromion can rub against (or impinge on) the tendon and the bursa, causing irritation and pain.

Our providers always strive to find a conservative treatment before recommending any type of surgery. If surgery does prove to be the best option, our surgeons have wide-ranging experience in performing surgical procedures, such as:

ACL Reconstruction

For a complete tear of the ACL, reconstruction surgery is generally scheduled for between 3 to 6 weeks after the injury occurs. This allows inflammation in the area to subside and allows time for physical therapy sessions to focus on restoring normal knee flexion and extension. If surgery is performed too early and in patients with limited knee range of motion, patients may develop a profound scarring response called arthrofibrosis, which leads to stiffness of the knee joint.

In ACL reconstruction surgery, a new ACL is made from a graft of replacement tissue from one of two sources:

  • a portion of the patient's own hamstring, quadriceps or patellar tendon
  • an allograft (tissue from a human organ donor)
Arthroscopic Surgery
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to visualize and treat problems inside a joint.

The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, "arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look). The term literally means "to look within the joint."

In arthroscopic surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the patient's skin, then inserts pencil-sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. Light is transmitted through fiber optics to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted into the joint.

By attaching the arthroscope to a miniature camera, the surgeon is able to see the interior of the joint through this very small incision, rather than the larger incision needed for open surgery.
Rotator Cuff Repair

Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff most often involves re-attaching the tendon to the head of the humerus (upper arm bone). A partial tear, however, may need only a trimming or smoothing procedure called a debridement. A complete tear is repaired by stitching the tendon back to its original site on the humerus.

Your doctor may offer surgery as an option for a torn rotator cuff if your pain does not improve with nonsurgical methods. Continued pain is the main indication for surgery. If you are very active and use your arms for overhead work or sports, your doctor may also suggest surgery.

Shoulder Stabilization

Arthroscopy is a procedure that orthopaedic surgeons use to inspect, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint.

The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, "arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look). The term literally means "to look within the joint." During shoulder arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your shoulder joint. The camera displays pictures on a video monitor, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.

Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incisions needed for standard, open surgery. This results in less pain for patients and shortens the time it takes to recover and return to favorite activities.