Danielle DeGiorgio, DO
Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US. The sport requires a high level of coordination and agility. Each position requires an athlete with a slightly different skill set and therefore may predispose them to position specific injuries. As an example, attackers require explosive cutting movements and thoracic rotational speed when shooting and therefore are at risk for knee ligament injuries and back injuries. Take this in contrast to the goalie who certainly is not doing a lot of running but is at significant risk for contusions/concussions from shots on goal. While prevention is the key, high level training and general game play can leave an athlete vulnerable to these injuries.
We will briefly review the most common injuries that affect lacrosse athletes without position discrimination.
- Ankle sprains- A typical inversion sprain or “ankle roll” can lead to strained or torn ligaments on the outer portion of the ankle. Depending on the severity an athlete can expect to be out for a few days to a few weeks.
- Hip Flexor/Hamstring strain: When a muscle or tendon is asked to bear a load greater than its capable, or extended faster than it can resist, the muscle/tendon will tear leading to internal bleeding and at worst pull directly off the bone. These injuries can last from a week to months depending on the grade of injury.
- Knee MCL Injury: The MCL’s (medial collateral ligament) job is to stabilize the inner portion of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) together. When a large force from the outer knee is translated to the inner knee, either with cutting or contact, the ligament runs the risk of tearing.
Depending on the severity, the aforementioned injuries are generally treated non-surgically. Even still, they can keep an athlete out for a significant amount of time. Maximizing recovery includes a healthy diet, hydration and rehabilitation. In addition, regenerative medicine options are revolutionizing the healing process. Regenerative medicine includes options such as PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cell treatments like BMAC (bone marrow aspirate concentrate). These treatment options allow the patient to harness their natural healing factors and concentrate them into the area of injury to improve, not only the speed of healing, but more importantly the quality of healing.
Athletes working to be their best, should be treated by a sports medicine team who are doing the same.
If you are interested in learning about optimizing recovery from an injury and cutting edge regenerative medicine options please contact Dr. DeGiorgio Ext. 2204.