Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Tag » sports injuries

Summer, Baseball & Sports Injuries




shutterstock_51758455What could be more all-American than hot dogs and baseball in the summertime? We’re fortunate in the Fort Myers area to have our own home team, the Fort Myers Miracle playing at Hammond Stadium.

Summer is also a big time for Little League games. Whether your son or daughter is playing baseball on a Little League team or a professional athlete is playing ball for one of your favorite Major League teams, baseball is a sport that has the potential for injury.

It’s unlikely that your child would be at risk for the same level or intensity of injury that challenges professional ball players, like New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who broke his ankle in 2012 and continues to have problems with it, or Henley Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers who tore a ligament in his thumb and had to have surgery.

But STOP Sports Injuries, a safety and public awareness campaign organized by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, wants parents to know that injuries in young athletes are on the rise.

The most common Little League-related injury, says AOSSM, is a tear in the UCL, or ulnar collateral ligament, the ligament that stabilizes the elbow. Typically injury to the UCL is caused by overuse – “throwing too hard, too much, too early and without rest.”

What can you do as a parent to make sure your child’s summer is healthy and fun? Here are some tips from AOSSM. Be sure the coach rotates players so your son or daughter isn’t just pitching. Don’t allow your child to play despite pain or pitch on consecutive days.  And, be sure that the coach teaches players about both control and good mechanics.

Rest, ice and over-the-counter medications will most likely take care of the pain. But if not, examination by a physician and diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray or MRI might be needed. For expert advise, call Dr. John Kagan. Dr. Kagan offers more than 30 years of experience as a successful orthopedic surgeon offering both surgical and non-surgical treatments for sports injuries. For more information, go to

Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior This Memorial Day



COPD_Home_Remedies_Slide_3This coming weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate Memorial Day with a weekend of social and recreational activities list. Whatever your plans are it’s important to remember not to overdo it physically and wind up with an injury.  A sedentary lifestyle with a burst of activity on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, falls into the category of weekend warrior.

Whether you’ll enjoy 18 holes of golf, an aggressive game of tennis with friends, showing the kids that you can still hold your own on the water skis, or tackling all the house and yard projects that you’ve put off for a while, a little common sense will prevent post-weekend musculoskeletal aches and pains – or worse.

According to the orthopedic experts at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “people with sports injuries—led by boomers—are now the No. 2 group coming into the doctor’s office, behind those complaining of a cold.”

The most common weekend warrior injuries fall into the following categories: 

Ankle sprain: Accidentally turning the foot inward can stretch or tear the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. It’s a common sports injury but can also result from just stepping down off something incorrectly.

Shin splints: Runners frequently experience shin splints, which causes pain down the front of the lower legs. In extreme cases, it could actually be a stress fracture, a tiny break in the shinbone.

Hamstring strain: The hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the thigh. Running, playing soccer, doing aerobics and similar activities can overstretch these muscles.

Tennis elbow: Repetitive use of the arm and elbow can inflame and irritate the tendon in the elbow, causing tiny tears in the tissue.  Tennis and golf players frequently complain about this injury, but it can also be a problem for painters, gardeners and carpenters.

Knee injuries: Knee injuries usually fall into three categories: ACL tear, meniscus tear and kneecap injury. An ACL tear means the anterior cruciate ligament is torn, sometimes the result of a quick stop that strains the ligament. A meniscus tear means the cartilage that cushions the bones in the knee joint is torn, while a kneecap or patellofemoral syndrome is caused by a repetitive movement of the kneecap against the thigh bone or femur, which irritates and inflames the tissue. Running, volleyball, basketball and activities that involve a lot of squatting like weight lifting and gardening can put the knees at risk.

In most cases, sports injuries can be relieved with ice and over the counter anti-inflammatory medication, as well as taking a break or rest from the activity until it’s healed. Knee injuries can be more serious and may need to be evaluated by the doctor.

For more information about musculoskeletal injuries and treatment, visit

PRP Therapy: What is it and does it work?





Platelet-Rich Plasma, better known as PRP Therapy, is a new cutting-edge treatment designed to accelerate healing and relieve the pain of orthopedic injuries without the need for surgery.

Although some medical experts still consider the procedure controversial, PRP therapy is a widely used procedure in major medical centers and orthopedic practices around the country. Here in the Fort Myers area, Dr. Kagan offers it as a safe alternative nonsurgical treatment for a range of conditions, from sports-related overuse injuries to chronic degenerative joint pain from early-stage osteoarthritis.

What exactly is PRP?

A small amount of the patient’s own blood is drawn and placed into a centrifuge, a laboratory device that rapidly spins the blood fast enough to separate out the various components, including the platelets. The platelets, which have growth factors that promote healing and tissue regeneration, are mixed with the plasma, and then injected back into the patient directly into the injury site.

How quickly does the therapy work? 

Most people find that within three months they have marked improvement, although some may require more than one treatment. The idea behind PRP is that by injecting platelet-rich plasma into the damaged tissue, it will encourage the body’s own natural healing process for a faster recovery.

PRP therapy does not “grow” new cartilage, but it does reduce inflammation and speed up healing. Because the patient’s own blood is used, there is no concern about the body reacting to a foreign substance or the potential for negative side-effects.

PRP therapy is considered an “orthobiologic,” a treatment that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons defines as a “product made from substances that are naturally found in your body. “ When used in higher concentrations than normal, these substances may heal damaged tissue faster.

A number of well-known athletes, including golfer Tiger Woods, Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward and Baltimore Ravens Chris Canty, have used PRP therapy to help get them recover from sports injuries and get back in the game faster.

For more information about PRP therapy or other nonsurgical treatments offered by Dr. John Kagan, go to

What Every Parent Should Know About Youth Sports Injuries




Children playing soccerSports can be a great experience for children and teens, teaching them teamwork, discipline, confidence and leadership skills. Being physically active helps build strong muscles and bones, but the increasing number of youth getting injured is a serious problem.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that more than 3.5 million children under the age of 15 received treatment for a sports-related injury. What’s going on? Children are playing at a higher level of intensity and at younger ages than in previous generations. There’s more focus on performance and competition, kids are playing in multiple leagues and the pressure for college scholarships can be daunting.

From an orthopedic surgeon’s perspective, that’s a concern because children’s bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are still growing. They are more susceptible to injury. As the AAOS points out, “what might be a bruise or sprain in an adult, could be a potentially serious growth plant injury in a young athlete.”

In addition to overuse injuries, such as the classic “Little League” elbow, orthopedic specialists are seeing an increase in more serious problems, including ACL injuries, meniscal tears, stress fractures and similar conditions. Some teens are even undergoing surgery for sports-injuries. That is alarming.

While we support and encourage youth sports, we want parents to be aware of certain precautions that will make the game safer for kids.

Here are several important guidelines to follow, as recommended by the AAOS:

  • Make sure the coach is qualified to supervise the sport, abides by the rules and has your child’s best interest in mind
  • Kids should have access to and know how to use the right safety equipment for the sport
  • Don’t let your child play when he or she is very tired or in pain
  • Make sure your child is in proper condition and has adequate time to warm up before playing
  • Allow injuries to heal completely before returning your child to the game
  • Limit the intensity and frequently of training and games
  • Do not allow your child or teen to use steroids to boost their athletic performance

For more information about orthopedic conditions and treatment, go to

ACL Injuries in Women

Although ACL injuries are common in both men and women who play sports, women seem to be at greater risk. Why women are more prone to tearing the ACL is not completely understood, but there is some indication that differences in anatomy, knee alignment, how loose the ligaments are, muscle strength and conditioning may play a role.

Injuries to the ACL typically occur when the knee is forced to bend or twist unnaturally, such as when you change direction, land from a jump or abruptly stop moving and your knee buckles or “gives way.” Colliding with another player during a game can also cause the ACL to tear. Soccer, basketball, tennis and football are the sports in which there is greater risk of tearing the ACL. The National Collegiate Athletic Association found that female basketball players are four times more likely than male players to sustain this type of ligament damage.

If you do tear your ACL, it’s important to be evaluated by a orthopedic specialist who can determine the right course of treatment to prevent chronic problems. Surgery is sometimes required to repair the tear.

Exactly what is the ACL? The ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament and it is one of four ligaments in the knee that attaches the lower and upper leg bones. The ACL helps stabilize the middle of the knee joint. A conditioning routine that stretches and strengthens the quadriceps and hamstrings in the thigh can be very helpful in preventing injury. It’s also recommended that athletes become more aware of proper body mechanics, especially how they land and turn. Be sure to land and jump with knees bent, never straight-legged.

For more information about treatment for ACL tears or other knee problems, go to

ACL Reconstruction

How many times have you read a national news report about a superstar athlete tearing his or her ACL and being sidelined for weeks during recovery? But it’s not just football, soccer or baseball stars who can sustain this type of extremely painful injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the most commonly injured ligaments of the knee.

Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones together or the bones to the cartilage. The ACL’s primary function is to keep the tibia (shinbone) and femur (thighbone) in alignment and to stabilize the knee joint to perform all those functions we demand of it.

Forceful contact, such as from a football tackle, landing incorrectly from a jump or fall with the knee extended — a common problem in tennis, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball – can cause the ACL to tear.

But so can twisting your knee from something simple as stepping onto uneven pavement or falling off a curb when you’re out for a run or walking the dog. Even a car or work-related accident can do damage to the ACL if you injure your knee.

Serious ACL injuries require surgery – usually an arthroscopic outpatient procedure. But rather than sew the torn ligament together, the orthopedic surgeon will replace the damaged ACL with a new ligament or “graft.”

The graft is usually a tendon taken from the patient’s own tissue, typically a hamstring, patellar or quadriceps tendon. Your doctor will discuss which type of graft is right for you. Fortunately for everyone who has ever torn their ACL, this type of surgery has an excellent success rate of 82 to 95 percent. Surgery, followed by rehab, will help both athletes and non-athletes to get back on their feet faster with less potential for long-term impairment.

For more information about the latest treatments for knee injuries, go to

Arthroscopic Chrondroplasty

A thick tissue called articular hyaline cartilage covers the surface of the knee, acting like a shock absorber and preventing the bones from rubbing against each other.

However, osteoarthritis, sports injuries or a car accident can damage the cartilage and cause the surface to become rough, irregular and abrasive, which can lead to irritation, swelling and discomfort.

If you experience chronic knee pain, accompanied by a crackling, grinding or clicking sound, or a sensation of something “catching” when you flex your knee or walk, you may have cartilage damage.

To repair this type of injury, the orthopedic surgeon may opt to perform an outpatient procedure called an arthroscopic chrondroplasty. During the procedure, the surgeon will make several tiny incisions in the knee in order to access the joint. A small endoscopic tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the knee to enable the surgeon to see the damage and make repairs.

Here’s what you can expect. The cartilage will be trimmed, loose pieces of tissue or bone will be removed and the surface will be smoothed using an arthroscopic shaver – a technique called debridement. The goal is to create a smooth surface to prevent further irritation of the lining of the knee joint. As the knee heals, new “scar tissue” cartilage will grow and cover the surface of the knee joint.

For more information about the latest outpatient procedures to treat knee pain or other orthopedic-related conditions, go to

Avoid Major Injuries With These Fitness Conditioning Tips

As an orthopedic surgeon, I know all too well the damage that years of wear and tear can do to the joints of the body. Sports can also be a major challenge to the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles, especially if you don’t take time to properly condition your body. While advances in orthopedic medicine and the introduction of minimally invasive techniques offer excellent results and a faster return to activity, whenever possible, it is always preferable for patients to take steps to prevent those injuries in the first place.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help you stay in shape to enjoy Florida’s year-round warm weather and avoid placing too much stress on those joints!

#1 Gradual is Better Than a Jump-Start
Easing into the activity with a gradual warm-up will give time for the blood to get moving and for your heart rate and respiration to steadily increase. Stretch the muscles to get them ready for more intense activity. Breathe deeply and hold the stretch for a few seconds. Stretch slowly, don’t bounce or jerk the body.

#2 Don’t overdo any activity at first or work through the pain, even if you’re just gardening. Stop when you feel strain and soreness. Apply ice to joints, muscles or tendons that are achy.

#3 Flexibility and range of motion of critical for success most sports, and especially for golf and tennis. Keep the hips and shoulder limber with appropriate exercises and stretching.

#4 Rotate the type of exercise or activity you do daily. Don’t work the same muscles every day. For example, balance aerobic activity with strength training using weights or fitness machines.

#5 See your doctor or call our office for an appointment when you have acute pain from a sports activity that can’t be relieved with rest, over-the-counter medications and ice.

For more information on orthopedic-related conditions and how to treat them, check out our patient education videos at

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938