Sports Medicine FAQ

Sports Medicine FAQ

  1. What is runner’s knee?
  2. How are meniscal tears treated?
  3. What are the most common causes of rotator cuff tears?
  4. What is tennis elbow, and how is it treated?
  5. What is the most common sports related knee injury?

1. What is runner’s knee?

Runner’s knee, also know as patellofemoral pain, is an overuse injury caused by damage to the kneecap. Patients who have sustained damage to the kneecap, often experience a dull aching pain around the kneecap, decrease in joint flexibility, and difficulty completing simple activities, such as walking. Runner’s knee often occurs in conjunction with dislocation of the knee joint, injury, or infection. Athletes and patients suffering from flat foot are at a higher risk of developing runner’s knee.

More information on preventing and treating runner’s knee »

2. How are meniscal tears treated?

The meniscus is located at the center of the knee joint and is composed of two c-shaped pieces of shock absorbing cartilage. Any damage to the meniscus can cause pain, discomfort, locking of the joint, and even immobility. Based on the location of the damage, Dr. Haar will determine if conservative or surgical treatment will best relieve symptoms. Conservative treatments include rest, application of ice to the knee, compression and elevation of the joint, and anti-inflammatory medications. If surgery is required, Dr. Haar will use arthroscopic techniques to remove and/or repair the damaged areas.

More information on meniscal tear treatment options »

3. What are the most common causes of rotator cuff tears?

Rotator cuff tears are a common sports related injury often found in athletes who participate in the baseball, tennis, and/or golf. Rotator cuff tears are most frequently categorized as an overuse injury that develops over time. As the muscles strain, patients will notice difficulty lifting the arm, pain in the affected shoulder, and a decrease in the joint’s range of motion. Tearing can also be caused by injury from falling on the shoulder or improperly carrying heavy objects. Arthroscopic surgery is often required to relieve pain symptoms and return joint mobility.

Learn more about arthroscopic shoulder surgery »

4. What is tennis elbow, and how is it treated?

Tennis elbow is an overuse injury that causes inflammation in the forearm muscles surrounding the elbow. Tennis elbow can be a debilitating injury, causing constant pain and discomfort in the elbow joint. If left untreated the chronic inflammation can cause additional damage or tearing in the muscles and tendons. Since tendons are unable to heal themselves, surgical treatment is often required to remove the inflamed tissue and repair the damaged tendons.

More information on elbow pain and arthroscopic elbow surgery »

5. What is the most common sports related knee injury?

Ligament tears are the most common sports related knee injury. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is the most frequently damaged ligament in the knee joint. Athletes who participate in high-intensity sports have a higher risk of sustaining an ACL tear. When the ACL is damaged, athletes often hear a popping sound as the joint gives way. Surgery is frequently required to reconstruct the damage ligament because ligaments are unable to heal on their own.

More information on causes and treatments options for ACL tears »