Are you a sports enthusiast? And nothing excites you more than stepping on the field? However, along with excitement, there is a risk of getting injured. Sports-related injuries are quite common whether you are training for your next season or just following your passion for playing your favorite sport. For such injuries, imaging is a critical tool to discover if the damage is minor or lasting.
If you are a regular athlete, the chances of getting sports injuries are higher for you. Your doctor may order imaging tests at some point. Mentioned below are some facts about sports injuries and the imaging tests ordered for them:
Common Sports Injuries
A sports injury is a term that refers mainly to musculoskeletal damage, which occurs when you play or workout. Different sports injuries have different complications and symptoms. For example, if you are a basketballer, you worry about joint, knee, wrist, ankle strains or ligament tear. Runners are exposed to the risk of knee or hamstring damage and pitchers must consider the possibility of a career-ending shoulder injury.
Here are the most common sports injuries:
Concussions – This happens due to accelerated force on the brain. If you hit your head and your brain slams against the hard interior of the skull, you might have a concussion. Concussions are a real concern for contact sports players such as footballers. Multiple blows at the same place can also cause lasting damage. A football player who has hit his or her head should take a break to prevent sequential blows.
Sprain – A sprain is a tear in the connective tissue of bones, the ligaments. It is often caused by trauma or when the joint is taken beyond its functional range of motion.
Sports Fractures – Broken bone.
Joint Damage – It happens when the tendons that support the joint are dislocated or torn.
Sports injuries are sometimes chronic and acute, too. For instance, the pain in your ankle from playing basketball or the swelling in your knee after you jog may be a one-time injury (acute) or happen every now and then (chronic).
Imaging Tests Ordered for Sports Injuries
The tests ordered by your sports physician depend on your pain level and extent of the damage. An X-ray can help rule out a bone fracture and show a joint dislocation or if a bone has sustained a tear. Doctors order an X-ray when they want an idea of the extent of damage in the bone. Also, it gives details if there is something wrong with the y tissues.
In other scenarios, the doctor may order for a CT Scan, if he wants to get a better view of the bone tissue. CT Scan is used to locate tiny tears in bones that traditional X-ray won’t spot out.
In case, the doctor suspects a muscular tear, he might order an MRI for sports injuries. An MRI provides with the most detailed view inside the human body. All the more, it doesn’t expose the patients to any radiation. It’s the most pragmatic choice where spinal injuries, joint damage or muscular trauma is involved.
Finally, a doctor can also order for ultrasound. Ultrasound gives a unique view of muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons in real time. It helps the doctor see these parts live, which gives him or her an idea of how movement affects them. The ultrasound is used for seeing tears in connective tissue, inflammation of bursae or joints, dislocations, and fluid accumulation.
When to Visit a Doctor
Minor injuries usually respond well to home treatments like ice, compression, rest, elevation, etc. However, sometimes even a small hit can lead to a life-threatening injury if left unattended. Pain is the way of your body’s opening up to you, so when you suspect an injury, get your tests done promptly. Imaging will help your doctor get the real picture of your injury and make the right diagnosis.