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Sports Medicine: Services

Evaluation & Diagnosis | Treatment Options | Frequently Asked Questions

UF Health Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery provides comprehensive evaluation, including operative and nonoperative treatment of athletic conditions. When nonsurgical measures have failed, our physicians are experts in the field of arthroscopic surgery and minimally invasive procedures to treat the full spectrum of sports injuries. Among the conditions/procedures provided:

Shoulder

  • Arthroplasty (joint replacement) for degenerative joint disease
  • Arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears
  • Arthroscopic stabilization of dislocations, subluxations
  • Treatment for throwing-related shoulder injuries (labral tears, overuse injuries)
  • Treatment for other shoulder conditions

Elbow

  • Treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Bicep tendon repair

Hip

  • Arthroscopic treatment of labrum tears
  • Femoral Acetabular Impingement Syndrome
  • Loose bodies in the joint

Knee

  • Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic PCL and multiligament knee reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic repair of meniscus tears
  • Meniscal Transplantation
  • Arthroscopic/Open reconstruction of articular cartilage injuries
  • Knee realignment for articular cartilage reconstruction
  • Repair of tendon ruptures (patellar and quadricep)
  • Treatment for knee sprains/strains and other conditions

Ankle

  • Arthroscopic treatment of ankle impingement
  • Arthroscopic/Open treatment of Talus cartilage injuries
  • Repair and rehabilitation of ligament injuries
  • Treatment for other ankle conditions

Cartilage Restoration

  • Repair or replace damaged cartilage before more advanced deterioration occurs
  • Provide innovative biologic methods to address early cartilage damage in the:
    • Knee
    • Shoulder
    • Elbow
    • Foot
    • Ankle
    • Hip

Evaluation and Diagnosis

History and physical exam

Each patient's symptoms will be thoroughly investigated through an in-depth medical history. During the evaluation, the physician will determine what is troubling the patient, how it affects quality of life and what individual expectations the patient has regarding return to play/function. Due to our emphasis on this part of the evaluation process, each new patient complaint will require adequate time to gather the necessary information. Our physicians take the time to listen to the patient. We do not sacrifice quality of care for volume.

The physical exam is a vital part of assessing a sports medicine or shoulder injury. Not all injuries affect every patient in the same manner. The exam allows the physicians to determine both the diagnosis and extent of impairment. Depending upon the complexity of the injury, the physical exam process may require multiple exams for thorough assessment and diagnosis.

Plain radiographs

Generally speaking, a thorough sports medicine evaluation requires a series of plain radiographs (x-rays). Even if a patient has already had a set of films taken, there are times when we will request an additional set as special views may be required for completeness. All of the UF sports medicine clinics have x-ray equipment on site to prevent untimely delays.

Advanced imaging

Our physicians rely upon the history, exam and plain radiographs for diagnosis in the vast majority of cases. However, in some instances, advanced imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required for definitive diagnosis or presurgical planning. Our staff will arrange for and submit the necessary referral to obtain these studies. Once the imaging is complete, our physicians are highly qualified to interpret these studies. They will take time to provide in-depth discussions of the interpretations with each patient.


Treatment Options

In-office procedures

Only in rare instances, aside from routine suture removal or aspiration, are office-based procedures performed. Cortisone injections are used sparingly as our physicians have found a lack of evidence to support their routine use in most sports-related diagnoses/conditions. We will incorporate viscosupplementation into the treatment regimen when clinically indicated. This involves an injection of hyaluronic acid into the joint. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the synovial (joint) fluid. It acts as a lubricant to enable cartilage surfaces to move smoothly.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a cornerstone of the rehabilitation of the injured athlete and shoulder injury patient. All UF sports clinics are within close proximity to the UF Health Jacksonville physical therapy department. Our team of sports medicine physicians has a very close working relationship with the department, as well as many other private physical therapy services in the greater Jacksonville area. Our physicians and therapists have taken great efforts to study the current rehabilitation literature to develop evidence-based protocols for the rehabilitation of all sports and shoulder injuries. In addition, our physicians are clinical educators for a local school of physical therapy.

Surgical procedures

Our faculty is comprised of highly trained specialists in the field of arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip and knee. They are well versed in all cutting-edge techniques, which are utilized when they are clinically indicated and evidence based. Furthermore, our faculty is comprised of educators who train the surgeons of the future.

Surgery is often indicated for many sports medicine and shoulder conditions/injuries. However, our physicians will inform each patient of all treatment alternatives, including nonoperative and operative care. Our physicians take the time to understand each patient as an individual, to better advise him/her concerning which treatment alternative is the best option.

Continuation of care

Our physicians believe in following through on patient care. They will arrange for the necessary follow-up care to ensure that each patient has an optimal outcome.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you see pediatric patients?

All athletes, regardless of age, are welcome for evaluation by our sports medicine specialists.

How long will my appointment take?

The length required for a thorough evaluation will vary from one patient to the next. In general, a patient with a new injury should expect the evaluation process to take approximately 30 minutes. The evaluation process for return a complaint typically requires 15 minutes to complete.

If I have already had x-rays, will I need new ones?

At times, even when a patient has had a set of films taken, we will request an additional set to be taken as special views may be required for completeness. If prior exams are beyond a certain date and the condition tends to be progressive in nature, our physicians also may ask for a new set of films. All UF sports medicine clinics have x-ray equipment on site to prevent untimely delays.

How long will I need physical therapy?

This will depend upon the circumstances. Physical therapy sessions for nonoperative conditions average six weeks with two sessions per week. Post-surgical therapy will vary, but often consists of three to four months of therapy with two sessions per week.

How long will it take for me to recover from surgery?

This will vary upon the surgical procedure and age/activity level of the patient. It can take as few as two weeks to up to a year in some cases. Physical therapy protocols have been identified by leading research groups and will be implemented in care outcomes.

How long will I be out of school or work after surgery?

This varies by the surgical procedure, age of the patient and physical demands of the job. It can take as few as several days to as long as several months to recover enough to return to school or work.

Do residents do the surgeries?

The attending surgeon is the primary surgeon, while residents are there to assist and learn. The residents are learning from the best and at no times are unsupervised in surgery or clinic.

Where do you perform your surgeries?

More than 90 percent of sports medicine and shoulder procedures can be done in an outpatient basis. We operate at the UF Health North, UF Health Jacksonville and at the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC).

When can I go back to work?

Generally, you can return to work after your incision is healed and you are able to walk without pain. This is usually seven to ten days for desk jobs.

When can I apply weight?

Each procedure has its own rehab protocol. In general, the ability to bear weight following shoulder procedures is around the 6 week appointment. Hip arthroscopy procedures, are usually toe touch weight bearing for 2 weeks and may resume normal walking at 2 weeks postoperatively. Knee arthroscopy procedures, range from immediately for simple surgeries to approximately 6 weeks for more complex procedures.

How do I care for my incisions after surgery?

Following procedures you will have a sterile dressing that needs to be changed around 3 days after your procedure. The wounds should be handled carefully, ensuring that hands are washed prior to touching any incision, until the incisions are healed. Dressing should be changed daily until the wound no longer has any drainage.

When can I shower or take a bath?

Arthroscopic procedures, with limited incisions allow for early bathing. Patients should only begin to shower or run water over their incisions following the initial bandage removal at 3 days postoperatively. Open procedures require closer monitoring and patients should wait until after the first postoperative appointment for showering. Patients should only take a bath, get in a pool or use a hot tub at 4 weeks, if the wounds have healed. Remember we are in the south, things tend to stay damp and moist, and incisions do well when they are dry. Change dressings once or twice a day depending on the level of drainage. If drainage increases or has not stopped by 10 days postop, then you should contact your physician's office.