Sports Medicine in Charleston, SC

What is Sports Medicine?

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise. It’s not limited only to professional athletes; it also helps people who are trying to become more active or those who have experienced sports-related injuries.

The types of conditions treated in sports medicine can vary widely, but they often include things like sprains and strains, fractures, dislocations, tendonitis, and overuse injuries. Sports medicine practitioners also work on injury prevention, performance optimization, nutrition, and rehabilitation.

The field includes both doctors who specialize in treating these kinds of conditions, often orthopedic surgeons with additional training in sports medicine, as well as other health professionals like physical therapists, athletic trainers, and dietitians. They work together to help patients return safely to their sports or activities and achieve their performance goals.

What is Regenerative Orthopedics?

Regenerative orthopedics, sometimes referred to as orthobiologics or regenerative medicine, is a field of orthopedic medicine that uses the body’s natural healing ability to treat musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, and ligament and muscle injuries. This approach focuses on repairing, replacing, or regenerating damaged tissues to restore normal function.

Some common techniques used in regenerative orthopedics include:

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: This procedure uses a patient’s own blood, processed to increase the concentration of platelets, which are injected back into the injured area. Platelets release growth factors and other substances that can promote healing and reduce inflammation.

Concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate (cBMA): Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) is a type of regenerative medicine treatment used in orthopedics. It utilizes a patient’s own bone marrow to treat various musculoskeletal conditions.

Dr. Ohlson has over a decade of experience using platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow aspirate. These treatments aim to provide a less invasive alternative to surgery, with the goal of reducing pain and improving function. However, it’s worth noting that while these techniques show promise, many are still under investigation and their effectiveness varies. Further research is needed to establish their long-term safety and efficacy.

In some cases, platelet-rich plasma or concentrated bone marrow aspirate may also be offered to patients undergoing surgery. The use of these powerful bioactive substances may help facilitate healing after surgery.

It’s also important to note that not every patient or condition is suitable for regenerative treatments. Each individual’s situation is unique, and the decision to use these therapies should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who can assess the potential benefits and risks.

FAQs About Sports Medicine

Dr. Ohlson treats lower extremity conditions & injuries for patients of all ages. Listed below are some very important answers to common questions regarding sports medicine. Please take a moment to review these topics.

No two injuries and no two patients are exactly the same. We pride ourselves on spending time with patients and ensuring they have the best experience possible. Our goal is to ensure patients have a fundamental understanding of their problems and the options available to alleviate pain and regain function.

What is a sprain vs. strain?

Both sprains and strains refer to injuries to the body’s musculoskeletal system, but they affect different parts of it:

  1. Sprain: This is an injury to a ligament, which are the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones to each other and provide joint stability. Sprains often occur when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of motion, such as turning an ankle or knee. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty using the affected joint. Sprains can vary from mild (slight stretching of the ligament) to severe (complete tearing).
  2. Strain: This is an injury to a muscle or tendon (the fibrous cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones). Strains often result from overstretching or overuse, but can also occur due to an acute injury, like lifting a heavy object improperly. Symptoms can include pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation, and cramping. Like sprains, strains can range from mild to severe.

Dr. Ohlson and his team are qualified to treat both sprains and strains. Treatment will depend on the severity and location of the injury but often includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (commonly referred to as the RICE protocol) to manage pain and swelling in the initial period after the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, physical therapy may be recommended to regain strength and mobility. Severe injuries might require surgical repair.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a term that describes inflammation of the joints. It’s not a single disease, but rather a way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can have arthritis, but it’s most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65.

Arthritis typically causes symptoms like pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the affected joints. These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and might come and go or be persistent. Severe arthritis can lead to chronic pain, inability to perform daily activities, and difficulties with mobility.

The three most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis inflammatory arthritis, and traumatic arthritis:

  1. Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. It can affect any joint but typically impacts the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Risk factors include aging, obesity, injury, and overuse.
  2. Inflammatory arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints (the synovium), causing inflammation that can eventually result in joint damage. It often affects the small joints of the hands and feet first but can affect other joints as well. Women are more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than men.
  3. Traumatic arthritis: Traumatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs as a result of a physical injury or trauma to a joint. The injury could be due to a one-time event, such as a fracture or dislocation, or repetitive stress and damage over time. This trauma can damage the cartilage and/or the bone, altering the mechanics of the joint and making it wear out more quickly. Over time, this can lead to pain, swelling, and reduced function in the joint, similar to the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

There’s no cure for arthritis, but a variety of treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include medications (for pain relief and to reduce inflammation), physical therapy, regular exercise, and in severe cases, surgery (like joint replacement). Lifestyle changes, like maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet, can also help manage symptoms. Dr. Ohlson and his team provide comprehensive care for the treatment of arthritis. We adhere to the standard of care regarding surgical and nonsurgical options. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about what we have to offer!

What is tendinitis?

Tendinitis, also known as tendonitis, is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon. Tendons are the thick, fibrous cords of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. When these tendons become irritated or inflamed, it can cause pain and tenderness near a joint.

Tendinitis can occur in any tendon, but it’s most common around your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Some common types of tendinitis are named after the sports that increase their risk, such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, and pitcher’s shoulder.

Tendinitis is usually caused by repetitive, minor impact on the affected area, or from a sudden more serious injury. Age also plays a role, as tendons become less flexible with age, making them more prone to injury.

Symptoms of tendinitis include pain at the site of the tendon and surrounding area. Pain may gradually build up or be sudden and severe, especially if calcium deposits are present.

Treatment typically involves rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and exercises to help build strength and flexibility. In more severe cases, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary.

What is concentrated bone marrow aspirate?

Concentrated Bone Marrow Aspirate (cBMA), also known as Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC), is a type of regenerative medicine treatment used in orthopedics. It utilizes the healing potential of stem cells and growth factors found in a patient’s own bone marrow to treat various musculoskeletal conditions.

The procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. Harvesting: The patient’s bone marrow is usually extracted from the pelvis using a special needle, in a procedure known as bone marrow aspiration. This is performed under local or general anesthesia to minimize discomfort.
  2. Processing: The harvested bone marrow is then processed in a centrifuge, a machine that spins rapidly. This separates the stem cells, platelets, and growth factors from the rest of the material in the bone marrow. The result is a concentrated solution, hence the name ‘concentrated bone marrow aspirate’.
  3. Injection: This concentrated solution is then injected into the area of injury or damage under image guidance (like ultrasound or fluoroscopy) to ensure precise placement. The growth factors, platelets, and stem cells in the solution help to stimulate healing and tissue regeneration.

The use of cBMA has been explored for a variety of orthopedic conditions including osteoarthritis, chronic tendon issues, bone healing, and some types of spine conditions. The goal is to enhance the body’s own healing response, reduce pain, and improve function.

However, it’s important to note that while some studies suggest positive outcomes with cBMA, the field of regenerative medicine is still evolving, and more high-quality research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these treatments for different conditions and patients. As with any medical procedure, the decision to use cBMA should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider who can evaluate the potential benefits and risks based on the individual patient’s condition and circumstances.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a type of therapy used in the field of regenerative medicine. The goal of PRP therapy is to promote healing by using the growth factors and other healing components found in a person’s own blood, specifically in the platelets.

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Blood Draw: A small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn, much like during a standard blood test.
  2. Separation: This blood is then placed in a centrifuge, a machine that spins at high speed. This spinning separates the blood into its different components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.
  3. Extraction: The platelet-rich part of the blood, which also contains plasma, is extracted. This component is more concentrated in platelets than what you’d typically find in blood. Platelets contain substances called growth factors that are thought to help with healing.
  4. Injection: The PRP is then injected into the area of the body that needs treatment. The injection is often guided by ultrasound or other imaging techniques to ensure it’s delivered to the right location.

The theory behind PRP therapy is that the concentrated presence of growth factors can stimulate and enhance the body’s natural healing process. PRP has been used for a variety of issues, including wound healing, hair growth, and skin rejuvenation, but it’s perhaps most commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions like tendon injuries, arthritis, and other orthopedic conditions.

However, it’s important to note that while some studies suggest PRP can be beneficial for certain conditions, the overall effectiveness of PRP treatments is still under investigation, and more research is needed to determine its long-term efficacy and safety. As with any treatment, the decision to use PRP should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider who can assess the potential benefits and risks.

Dr. Ohlson has over 10 years of experience with the use of platelet-rich plasma injections. He uses up-to-date clinical evidence regarding its usage. His goal is to provide patients with the most up-to-date information regarding platelet-rich plasma injection. Patients then have the ability to make their own decision about whether it’s appropriate for their treatment.

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Dr. Ohlson is seeing new patients at his office in Mount Pleasant. Call him at 843-473-4331, use the online contact form if you have questions, or click "request appointment" to schedule your appointment today!