Posts Tagged ‘sports medicine’

Knee Injuries in Young Athletes Live Chat- September 28th

knee-injury-emailKnee injuries in young athletes continues to be on the rise. One of the most common sports injuries, an ACL tear, could end a young athlete’s career aspirations in sports before it even begins. Twist your knee sharply or extend it beyond its normal range during play, and you may hear the telltale “pop.” Whether your child participates in football, soccer, basketball or track, their drive for the game may be setting the stage for a serious injury.

Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from noon – 1p.m. EST for an online live chat with Dr. John Xerogeanes, Chief of Sports Medicine at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center and head team physician for Georgia Tech. Dr. X (as he’s known in the community) will take questions regarding how to reduce the risk of injury, specific exercises for strengthening the knee, warning signs, what to do following an ACL injury, and the rehabilitation process. Sign up for this live chat below.


About Dr. John Xerogeanes

xerogeanes-john-wDr. Xerogeanes is Chief of Sports Medicine at the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center. Known as Dr. “X” by his staff and patients, he is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory University as well as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State and Mercer University. Dr. X is Head Orthopaedist and Team Physician for Georgia Tech, Emory University, Agnes Scott College and the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA. He specializes in ACL and ACL revision surgery performing over 200 of these operations each year. He is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and has his sub-specialty certification in orthopaedic sports medicine.

Emory Sports Medicine Doctors- We’ve Got Your Back Video

Emory Healthcare has begun airing a new television commercial featuring Emory Sports Medicine Center. The TV spot is set appear on a number of stations in the Atlanta area, including CBS 46 as part of its SEC Football coverage running through December, as well as Georgia PBA 30 and FOX Sports Southeast during Atlanta Hawks game coverage.

Be sure to watch the commercial on Emory Healthcare’s YouTube, Facebook or Twitter accounts, share it with friends, and discover more about Emory Sports Medicine Center.

Emory Sports Medicine Center and its sports medicine doctors provide comprehensive care for athletes and active people of all ages and abilities. The Center’s physicians and athletic training teams are immersed in the world of sports medicine and hold alliances with area high school teams and youth leagues, as well as college and professional teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Learn more about our sports medicine specialists and take a closer look at Emory Sports Medicine Center here.

Emory Sports Medicine Physician Lands in Rio to Support Olympic Team

rio-squareWhen the 2016 Olympic Games kick off Friday, viewers will tune in to see the world’s best of the best athletes walking into Rio’s Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony.

Among those making their way into the stadium will be Emory Healthcare sports medicine physician R. Amadeus Mason, M.D., who is helping support Team USA Track and Field.

Dr. Mason was busy this year treating four Olympic hopefuls at Emory Sports Medicine Center. Each one had pounding, over-use type injuries in either the knees, Achilles or shin. He treated them with various non-surgical measures such as biologic injections of platelets or stem cells.

“It’s exciting that these are the types of patients we see at Emory Sports Medicine on a daily basis,” he said, “and that’s the level of care anyone can expect in terms of treatment from the doctors here.”

Emory Sport Medicine Center treats people of all levels, whether they are regularly active, a weekend warrior or even a pro.

One of Dr. Mason’s patients is 400-meter hurdler, Ajoke Odumosu, a two-time Olympian from Nigeria. Ms. Odumosu, who goes by “AJ,” and now lives in Alabama, said she has complete faith in Dr. Mason for one simple reason: He’s earned it.

“I first was seen by him in 2009 after the world championships and got some guidance on managing my body,” she said. “He knows the body of the athlete. He’s always steered me in the right direction and he puts my mind at ease as well.”

For AJ, Dr. Mason helps her know how hard she can train without damage to her knees.

“I have cartilage damage in my right knee and some swelling in my left knee,” she said. “I have to be able to train not only in speed, but strength, which is pounding on the knees, with long endurance runs. I have to trust that my knees will be OK, but also be realistic and listen to my body. Some days I can train hard and feel like Superwoman; some days I have to take it easier.”

While AJ won’t be joining the team in Rio for this Olympics, she praised the treatments and guidance she sought from Dr. Mason at Emory Sports Medicine.

“I trust him very, very much,” she said. “He gives me confidence that my knees aren’t going to go out on me on a jump.”

Concussions in Young Athletes – Live Chat on August 9, 2016

concussion260x200Is the peewee football phase too early to wonder about concussions? Maybe not. Concussion rates are rising sharply among U.S. kids and teens, researchers report, and concussion diagnoses more than doubled between 2007 and 2014. According to the CDC, more than 248,000 U.S. children and teens land in the emergency room each year because of a concussion sustained in sports or recreational activities, such as bicycling, football, basketball, soccer and from playground injuries.

If you have a young child or a student athlete who is participating in sports and want to learn more about how to prevent, detect and treat concussions, join us on Tuesday, August 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a live online chat to discuss the topic. Our host is Dr. Jeffrey Webb, pediatric sports medicine physician at Emory Sports Medicine Center. Dr. Webb will also discuss the laws that Georgia has passed targeting concussion in high school and younger athletes.


About Dr. Webb

webb-jeffreyDr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. During his training and practice he has provided medical coverage for division I college football and other sports, multiple high schools, ballet, the Rockettes, marathons, international track and field events, and the Special Olympics. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and is also a consulting physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College and many other club sports teams.

He is active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

ACL Injury: Mikayla’s Success Story

Mikayla CoombsIn November of 2015, my daughter Mikayla Coombs had a rough start to her basketball season. Mikayla is the number one basketball player in the state of Georgia and the sudden injury came as a surprise. Mikayla was playing in a tournament at Norcross High School and fell during the game. She was not in any pain after falling on the court so the athletic trainer checked her and said she could return to play. After getting back on the court to play, she fell again and was told that she had a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) strain. The next day we had an appointment to see the team doctor without having any testing done and it was confirmed that she had an ACL injury.

After the doctor’s visit we were sent to have an MRI taken of Mikayla’s leg. The results came back around thanksgiving and the news was not good. Mikayla had an ACL tear. At that point, as a mother of a great athlete, I had no clue of what I was going to do. I had tears in my eyes. Mikayla received an invite to the USA trial scheduled for June and was not able to attend because of her injury and scheduled surgery. However, Mikayla was never sad, nor did she complain.

I’ve always heard positive feedback in the community about sports medicine physicians at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center and decided to make an appointment for Mikayla. Mikayla had a successful surgery with Spero Karas, MD on December 31st. 2015. Dr. Karas went above and beyond to help her. After Mikayla’s surgery, she was in minimal pain and hardly needed any of the medications prescribed. Surprisingly, Mikayla was also doing pushups, she was able to sleep and shower with no assistance. Two days later she had her follow-up appointment and she was able to walk into the clinic. She was determined and felt good enough to not have to use her crutches.

It has been an amazing journey. Mikayla got back on her own without a brace and everyone that knows Mikayla has been impressed with her speedy recovery time. Mikayla continues to go to physical therapy with The Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center and at her high school with an athletic trainer. She is doing wonderful and the good thing is that nothing has changed in terms of opportunities for my daughter and in athletics. Before she had multiple offers to UConn, Stanford, Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, Penn State, Tennessee etc. , and now those offers are still coming in. Mikayla has a very small scar. It’s been a blessing and I cannot thank Dr. Karas enough. He was very adamant about not allowing Mikayla back on the court until she was in the correct stage of rehab and only allowed court privileges when appropriate. Dr. Karas treated her as if it were his own daughter that got injured.

Several of Mikayla’s team members have had surgery with other offices and compared to Mikayla’s small scar, it’s unbelievable. Mikayla often gets questions on whether or not, she really had surgery.

According to Mikayla “Everything happens for a reason and if Dr. Karas is taking care of any patient, they’ll be alright and are in good hands.”

Mikayla has won: 
AJC 2A Player of the year
USA TODAY Georgia First Team

Thank you to Dr. Karas and the team at the Emory Orthopaedics, & Spine Center!

A note from Dr. Karas:

The surgery I performed on Mikayla was an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction using a hamstring tendon from the back of her thigh. The hamstring tendon is actually stronger than her native ACL, and has less risk of muscle atrophy and tendinitis in her knee. Rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction is lengthy, but most athletes are able to return to their sport approximately 9-12 months after surgery.

About Dr. Karas:

karas-speroDr. Karas joined the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center in 2005 as Director of the Emory Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. In addition to this role, he currently serves as the head team physician for the Atlanta Falcons, a consulting team physician for Georgia Tech University, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and St. Pius X High School. Prior to this, he served as chief of the Shoulder Service, team physician, and director of the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Orthopaedics.

Dr. Karas received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. After medical school, he completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. After residency, Dr. Karas completed a Knee, Shoulder, and Sports Medicine Fellowship at the prestigious Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. While in Colorado, he served as an Associate Team physician for the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies professional sports teams.

He is the author of more than 150 publications, presentations, and demonstrational videos. He has trained over 100 residents, fellows, and graduate students in subspecialty care of the shoulder, knee and sports medicine. His research has been published in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of Arthroscopy, the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. Dr. Karas is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has held leadership positions in numerous societies, including the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
Dr. Karas is a recognized expert in the field of shoulder surgery, knee surgery, and sports medicine, and has been awarded numerous grants for research and product development. A frequent speaker throughout the United States and internationally, his work has been featured in Ski Magazine, Men’s Health, and on NBC, FOX, and CNN network television. He is also active in quality musculoskeletal research, and has been honored by his peers with nominations for numerous research awards. He actively collaborates with medical corporations by developing cutting-edge technology to improve the instruments and techniques in orthopedic surgery.

Dr. Karas was selected as one of America’s “Top Sports Medicine Specialists” in Men’s Health Magazine. He has also been named one of the “Top Sports Medicine Doctors for Women” by Women’s Health magazine, “Best Orthopaedic Surgeons in America” by Castle Connoly, and the most trusted sports specialist in Atlanta, Georgia by Atlanta Magazine. He is regularly listed in Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors. Dr. Karas is a full member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Society, a prestigious “invitation only” society with rigorous selection criteria.
A former collegiate athlete himself, Dr. Karas was a varsity letterman in wrestling at the University of Notre Dame. He continues to participate in sports such as golf, snowboarding, and fitness training. He also coaches little league sports, and is an active member of his church and community.

Dr. Karas and his wife, Johanna, are blessed with three very active and beautiful children – Gus, Elena, and Nicholas.

How Much is Too Much in a Youth Sport?

Research shows sports specialization is harming younger children, and outweighs any benefit he or she might derive from laser-like focus on one youth sport.Is your child athlete playing only one youth sport, and if so, is he or she doing it year-round, with little or no monitoring about over using certain muscles?

Research shows this kind of sports specialization is harming your younger children, and greatly outweighs any benefit he or she might derive from laser-like focus on one sport.

The Emory Sports Medicine Center, a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopaedic and sports-related injuries, has been on the cutting edge of that research.

Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, M.D., of the Emory Sports Medicine Center, is a leading expert on youth sports health and is an ardent believer in kids playing organized sports. However, he believes even stronger in a simpler plan: Kids need to play. Period. Not play soccer, per se. Or baseball. Or even tennis, which is his specialty. But just play and play multiple sports.

While Jayanthi, is not at all urging parents to steer their children away from organized teams sports, his nationally acclaimed study on youth sport injuries show playing is more important to the child than playing a sport, and that once sports become the primary way a child plays, parents should monitor the number of hours the child spends on any one sport.

“With travel leagues and kid playing one sport 10 to 12 months a year, we’re seeing more over-use injuries than we would have a generation ago,” Dr. Jayanthi said. “Everyone wants the best for their child, but the best is never to let them spend hours a day, every day, doing the same activity.”

In America, particularly in warmer weather states, baseball is probably where there is more specialization, year-round focus and over-use injuries. It has gotten so bad, particularly with pitchers, that USA Baseball and Major League Baseball have teamed up to promote an educational program that urges restraint.

“When baseball is telling young baseball players to take it easy, it helps validate what we are saying,” Dr. Jayanthi said.

Dr. Jayanthi and colleagues researched 1,200 young athletes and found that kids should not spend more hours per week than his or her age playing sports. Younger children are developmentally immature and are less able to tolerate physical stress. Also, the study suggests that kids should not spend more than twice as much time playing organized sports as they do in unorganized free play.

“I love organized sports and love to see athlete’s at their best,” he said. “And that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I get that. I believe in it. But the two concepts are not mutually exclusive to each other. In fact, I believe they go hand in hand. Want what’s best for your child, both developmentally and athletically? Follow these guidelines.”

Dr. Jayanthi leads Emory’s Tennis Medicine program and is considered one of the country’s leading experts on youth sports health, injuries, and sports training patterns, as well as an international leader in tennis medicine. He is currently the President of the International Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) and a certified USPTA teaching professional.

About Emory Sports Medicine Center

At the Emory Sports Medicine Center, our experts specialize in advanced procedures to treat and repair a wide range of sports related injuries. Recently recognized as one of the nation’s TOP 50 orthopaedics programs, Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine has 6 convenient locations across metro Atlanta, as well as 6 physical therapy locations. To make an appointment to see one of our Emory sports medicine specialists, please call 404-778-3350 or complete our online appointment request form.

About Dr. Jayanthi

jayanthi-neeru-aDr. Jayanthi leads Emory’s Tennis Medicine program and is considered one of the country’s leading experts on youth sports health, injuries, and sports training patterns, as well as an international leader in tennis medicine. He is currently the President of the International Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) and a certified USPTA teaching professional. He has also been a volunteer ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) physician for 15 years, serves as a medical advisor for the WTA (Woman’s Tennis Association) Player Development Panel, and is on the commission for the International Tennis Performance Association (ITPA). He has been selected to the board of directors for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) twice, and serves as a Consultant for the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, Aspen Institute Sport and Society Program, and Mom’s Team. Dr. Jayanthi has won multiple AMSSM Foundation Research Grants for his collaborative research on early sports specialized training and overuse injury in young athletes. He previously was the medical director of primary care sports medicine at Loyola University Chicago for 12 years where he was voted a “Top Doctor” in the Chicagoland Suburbs prior to being recruited to Emory.

Emory Tennis Medicine Program: Patient Story

jayanthi patient story 2It was Labor Day weekend of 2015 , and  I was in Tennessee playing  in a tennis tournament. While playing, I suddenly could not bend over very well. I could hardly walk, twist or turn. I didn’t know it at the time but I had 3 stress fractures in my back potentially from how quickly I had grown  in a year and a half. At that time I was playing about 18 hours a week on average, and in the summer I played a little more. My back had been hurting off and on for about a year, but I was going to physical therapy once a week throughout that time which seemed to be helping.  Previously I experienced tightness in my back but the tightness would come and go.  It would hurt for a few days and after physical therapy would feel better.  However, I was always nervous because I never knew when it would come back.  I had heard of other tennis players with back issues but I didn’t think mine was as serious. During that match on Labor Day weekend, my parents pulled me off after the first set and I defaulted  the tournament. Oddly enough the next day I felt fine.  I could do everything and my flexibility came back.  I even went to tennis practice.

That  random alteration in my performance is what led my mother to setting up an appointment. In October I had an x-ray taken of my back and was told that there was an area of concern in my lower spine, so I was sent for and MRI to get a better image.  The results came back soon after and  I was told that I had stress fractures in my back.  My parents picked me up from practice as soon as they got the news and I had to stop all activity immediately. I was shocked. It didn’t seem like It could be possible because I had been feeling fine, but my back was broken!

My parents started doing research trying to find a doctor with specific experience in helping tennis players with injuries like mine,  and they learned about Neeru Jayanthi, MD at the Emory Sports Medicine Center.  My mother called and asked for Dr. Jayanthi and scheduled an appointment since he was tennis specific. The process was amazing.  We were excited and blown away by the response time.  An appointment was scheduled within a few days!

During the office visit, Dr. Jayanthi mapped out a plan. As part of the Emory Sports Medicine Tennis program, I was taken to a fitness center to see if there were any flaws in my strokes that may have caused the fractures.

This was the first specialized doctor that I had seen who did an on court evaluation with me, and he gave me confidence that I would be able to return to playing. The one-on-one hands-on evaluation and interaction was great, and it was very helpful to have a step by step plan for returning to the court.

In January of 2016, I went back for another appointment and was evaluated again. This time Dr. Jayanthi let me hit full court, serve and run around. It was fun to play again after being out for so long, and I felt like I was finally getting closer to being back. Before the end of my appointment, Dr. Jayanthi gave me a plan to gradually build up a few hours each week and specific drills to work on.  Now, I’m currently playing about 10 hours a week.

I am more capable of and doing more now than I ever imagined compared to what I was able to do when I first got the shocking news.  I have  increased my flexibility, core strength and upper body strength. I don’t rely on my back as much as I did before  and I have a much greater sense of freedom when it comes to being on the court, knowing that I will not get hurt again.

It’s been a tough experience but I feel much stronger in many ways because of it. I recommend any athlete struggling with back pain to have it looked at quickly. I waited a while thinking that it was just muscle soreness and growing pains when in fact I had fractures in my back.

A note from Dr. Jayanthi

On court evaluations are performed by Dr. Jayanthi (who is also USPTA-certified teaching professional) most commonly on junior/elite level tennis players who are looking to optimally return to competitive tennis while reducing their future risk of injury to identify any opportunities for modifying strokes to accommodate for an injury.

This is typically done on the tennis court, after a medical evaluation to identify the specific medical deficits, and then coupled with a research survey, video analysis and then progressions to help modify strokes and then return to tennis effectively.  If there are any notable deficits or any more significant changes to strokes, these are often communicated to the teaching professional/coach.  We follow these players at 6 months and at 1 year to assess their injury and performance status.

About Dr. Jayanthi

jayanthi-neeru-aNeeru Jayanthi, MD, is considered one of the country’s leading experts in youth sports health, injuries and sports training patterns, as well as an international leader in tennis medicine. He is currently the President of the International Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) and a certified USPTA tennis teaching professional. He previously was the medical director of primary care sports medicine at Loyola University Chicago prior to being recruited to Emory, where he will lead an innovative tennis medicine program.

Dr. Jayanthi’s practice is open to all children and adults with non-surgical issues related to activity and sports. He particularly loves working with young athletes of all sports, and

The Importance of High School Sports Physicals

sports-physical250x250After months of being dormant during the winter, most children who participate in sports are anxious to get back in the game as soon as warm weather arrives. While increased exercise and participation in sports outweigh the risk of injury or illness, it is crucial that every child undergo pre – participation sports physicals before beginning practice with their chosen sport. The same goes for professional athletes around the world. In the United States, pre – participation exams (PPE) are required for professional and student-athletes of all ages who want to participate in sports and/or sports camps.

But whether you’re a student athlete or a professional athlete, pre-participation sports physicals are identical.

In the winter or “off-season”, the players are usually coaching, working or playing overseas. When they re-join the Atlanta Dream, they have to undergo sports physicals, each and every year. It is important to get physicals because your health status is capable of changing during the year/off-season. For student athletes and professional athletes, it is important for medical staff to re-assess if there are any health and or orthopedic issues that have occurred in the interim.

But are sports physicals really necessary for both junior level and pro? Absolutely! A PPE provides the following prior to participation:

  • Identifies any potential life-threatening conditions, such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Evaluates existing conditions that may need treatment prior to participation, or monitoring to avoid future injury.
  • Identifies any orthopedic conditions that may require physical therapy or other treatment.
  • Identifies athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
  • Reviews concussion history (if previously concussed, the PPE determines if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms).

There are two portions of the physical:

  • Review of medical history: Professional athletes or student athletes and their parents need to come prepared to openly and honestly discuss all medical history. Knowing the complete history helps doctors identify conditions that might affect the student’s ability to participate and/or perform in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.
  • Physical exam: many schools perform partial physical exams, but if you would like a more complete physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialist if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

In addition to the two portions of a physical for student athletes, professional athletes have an additional step in the process. Professional athletes are evaluated by the team athletic trainer first. A baseline neuropsych test is done, in order to know where they should report to should one have a concussion during the season while on the court. Cardiac testing and a physical exam is done by the team physician who will go over orthopedic and medical concerns as needed. Additional testing like lab work is also required to check for any abnormalities in each player.

Sports physicals usually occur six weeks prior to the start of sports or training camp. Most student-athletes and professionals are cleared for full participation following a sports physical exam, but those who require follow-up care are generally cleared from all potential complications within the six week timeframe. Parents of student athletes are encouraged to check with their child’s school about sports physicals and if it is being provided to the athletes.

About Emory Sports Medicine Center

At the Emory Sports Medicine Center, our experts specialize in advanced procedures to treat and repair a wide range of sports related injuries. Recently recognized as one of the nation’s TOP 50 orthopaedics programs, Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine has 6 convenient locations across metro Atlanta, as well as 6 physical therapy locations. To make an appointment to see one of our Emory sports medicine specialists, please call 404-778-3350 or complete our online appointment request form.

About Dr. Mines

mines-brandonDr. Brandon Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream, Decatur High School and a team physician for NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He is also a rotational physician for United States soccer teams.

Dr. Mines enjoys giving talks and lectures regarding the prevention of sports injuries. In fact, as an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Society for Sports Medicine, Dr. Mines has attended and presented at various national conferences. Through the years, he has helped all levels of athletes return to the top of their game.

Hand, Wrist & Elbow Live Chat on April 26, 2016

hand-wrist-elbow-emailWhether for work or play, we use our hands, wrists & elbows during almost every activity throughout the day. Overuse can sometimes lead to the development of painful conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. When upper extremity pain begins to interfere with your daily activities, it is time to see a hand specialist.

Join Emory orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Gottschalk, on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 12 pm EST, for a live web chat. Dr. Gottschalk will be available to answer your questions about the diagnosis and treatment – both surgical and non surgical – for a wide range of hand and upper extremity issues. Register for this live chat here.


Keys to Preventing Soccer Injuries


Dr. Oludade recently returned from a trip to Turkey, where he provided medical care for the United State’s U-17 Men’s National Soccer Team during the 2016 Mercedes Benz Aegean Cup. Dr. Olufade with head coach, John Hackworth.

Already the most popular international team sport, soccer is also the fastest growing team sport in the United States. With more people playing soccer, it is not surprising that the number of soccer-related injuries is increasing. Although soccer provides an enjoyable form of aerobic exercise and helps develop balance, agility, coordination, and a sense of teamwork, soccer players must be aware of the risks for injury. Injury prevention, early detection, and treatment can keep kids and adults on the field long-term.

The most common injuries in soccer that impact healing time are ankle/knee ligament injuries and muscle strains to the hamstrings and groin. These injuries may be traumatic, such as a kick to the leg or a twist to the knee, or result from overuse of muscles of tendons. Cartilage tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains in the knee are some of the more serious injuries that may require surgery.

Proper preparation is essential for preventing injuries from playing soccer.  Here are some tips:

  • Warm up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch. In order to increase your flexibility and decrease the likelihood of injury, there are number of stretching methods you can use:
    • Dynamic soccer stretching – Often used at the beginning of a warm up. Making circles with the arms to loosen the shoulders, twisting from side to side and swing each leg as if kicking a ball are examples of dynamic stretching.
    • Static soccer stretching – Muscles are stretched without moving the limb or joint itself. A good example of a static stretch is the traditional quad stretch – standing on one leg, you grab your ankle and pull your heel into your backside.
  • Maintain fitness. Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of soccer season. During the off-season, stick to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility.
  • Hydrate. It’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness and more serious symptoms, all of which can increase the likelihood of injury.
  • Ensure Proper Equipment. Wear shin guards to help protect your lower legs, as leg injuries are often caused by inadequate shin guards. You should wear the proper cleats depending on conditions, such as wearing screw in cleats on a wet field with high grass.
  • Prevent Overuse. Limit your amount of playing time. Adolescents should not play just one sport year round — taking regular breaks and playing other sports is essential to skill development and injury prevention.
  • Cool down and stretch. Stretching at the end of practice is too often neglected because of busy schedules. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Be sure to stretch after each training practice to reduce your risk for injury.

At Emory Sports Medicine Center, our team of specialists is constantly conducting research and developing new techniques for diagnosing and treating the full range of sports-related injuries. Whether you are a professional athlete, or simply enjoy an active lifestyle, Emory provides comprehensive care, in a patient–family- centered environment, so together we achieve the best possible outcome and you can return to the sport you love. To schedule an appointment, call 404-778-3350 or complete our online appointment request form.


About Dr. Olufade

olufade-oluseunOluseun Olufade, MD, is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. During his fellowship training, he was a team physician for Philadelphia Union, a major league soccer (MLS) team, Widener University Football team and Interboro High School Football team.

Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports related injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in concussion, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration.

Dr. Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class and Editor of the PM&R Newsletter. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences.