While anyone can get injured when involved with a sports or athletic activity, such injuries and conditions sometimes affect children and teenagers differently than adults. Moreover, there are often different health concerns with children or teenagers who participate in sports. As such, having a children’s sports medicine specialist you can rely on is a great benefit in such situations. At Olivero Pediatrics, our pediatric sports medicine doctors proudly provide sports medicine services to children and adolescents up to the age of 21.
What is the difference between an orthopedic doctor and a sports medicine doctor?
Both sports medicine doctors and orthopedic doctors are well trained in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. With that said, the primary difference between the two is how each specialist goes about treating such injuries and conditions. Whereas orthopedic doctors are trained to provide surgery for musculoskeletal injuries or conditions, sports medicine doctors focus on non-operative treatment methods.
However, approximately 90 percent of sports-related injuries do not require surgery. As such, sports medicine doctors are highly skilled in maximizing the benefits of non-operative treatment for sports-related musculoskeletal conditions and injuries so that patients can avoid surgery. If surgery is necessary, they can also provide an expedited referral to an orthopedic surgeon.
In terms of education, both specialists take four years of medical school before completing their particular residencies. A sports medicine doctor generally completes a three-year residency in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, or pediatric medicine before completing a one- or two-year fellowship specifically focused on Sports medicine, involving the comprehensive care of an athlete’s medical, nutritional, and orthopedic needs. Orthopedic doctors complete five years in an orthopedic surgery residency, with the option to extend that with a fellowship in the same.
What does a pediatric sports medicine doctor do?
A pediatric sports medicine doctor specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating non-operative injuries and conditions children and teenagers experience while participating in sports or athletic activity. After completing four years of medical school, a pediatric sports medicine doctor typically completes a three-year pediatric residency, followed by a one- to two-year fellowship in sports medicine. Some examples of the injuries and conditions pediatric sports medicine doctors treat include acute injuries, overuse or repetitive strain injuries, and more, such as the following:
- Athletic support for conditions such as diabetes, eating disorders, or exercise-induced asthma, or for athletes with exceptional needs
- Dislocations, fractures, sprains, and strains
- Growth plate injuries, such as apophysitis
- Heat illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, or heat stroke
- Nutritional concerns, as well as those regarding sports supplement use
- Overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or stress fractures
What can a sports medicine doctor do?
In addition to evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various conditions and injuries, sports medicine doctors can also help young athletes in several different ways, depending on the patient’s age and goals. As such, sports medicine doctors also specialize in injury prevention, maximizing athletic performance through improved fitness and conditioning regimens and recommendations, nutritional guidance, and ergogenic aids, as well as overall healthy lifestyle promotion.
Furthermore, if the athlete has sustained an injury or illness that keeps them out of action, a sports medicine doctor can develop a “return to play” treatment plan so that they can safely return to action without risking further injury or re-injury.
What is family sports medicine?
Family sports medicine is a medical discipline that focuses on preventing, treating, evaluating, and diagnosing athletic injuries in both children and adults. Medical doctors who specialize in this medical discipline complete a three-year residency in family medicine and a two-year fellowship in sports medicine.
If you are looking for a children’s sports medicine specialist in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania, we welcome you to come to Olivero Pediatrics! For an appointment, please feel free to call us or schedule one through our website.