Selecting the best sports medicine physician for your care is important. Sports medicine doctors can come from different backgrounds and vary in their level of expertise. Patients should take the time to learn about potential physicians before selecting one to work with to ensure they make the right decision.
You may be unsure of the important factors to consider when choosing a sports medicine provider. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you seek the right expert’s care for your sports-related injuries or sports-specific needs.
A Background in Orthopedics
Sports medicine doctors with a background in orthopedics can provide superior sports medicine treatment compared to physicians whose background is in primary care. This is due to their specialized knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal issues, which sports medicine injuries actually fall under, since they are typically injuries of bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
With advanced training in orthopedics, these sports medicine doctors are highly capable of performing invasive procedures and surgery if a patient’s condition calls for it – although they employ conservative treatments whenever possible. Make an orthopedic surgeon fellowship trained in sports medicine your choice of physician for the best results.
Experience Working with Athletes of All Levels
Look for a sports medicine physician who has experience working with athletes at various levels, from recreational to professional. This demonstrates their ability to address the unique needs and demands of athletes across different sports and skill levels.
Consider their involvement with athletic or sports teams, clubs, or organizations. For example, a sports medicine doctor who serves as head team physician for college athletic teams or has served as a physician for tournaments has a deep understanding of the specific needs and challenges of athletes and is therefore able to provide higher-quality patient care.
Experience in Arthroscopic Surgery
While many sports injuries can be treated conservatively, in some cases, particularly chronic injuries, arthroscopic surgery may provide the best outcomes. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique commonly used in sports medicine to diagnose and treat joint and soft tissue injuries.
Arthroscopy involves the use of a small camera, an arthroscope, and specialized instruments inserted through tiny incisions, for visualization and tissue repair. It can be used to treat ACL tears, cartilage tears, meniscus tears, rotator cuff injuries, joint dislocations, and shoulder impingement.
Choose a sports medicine physician who is experienced in arthroscopic surgery, as this technique offers several benefits, including smaller incisions and a faster recovery, which are critical for athletes and individuals with active lifestyles.
Knowledge and Expertise in Non-Operative Treatments
Many non-surgical treatments are adequate for sports injury treatment, either in place of surgery or to support healing. Top sports medicine doctors offer non-operative treatments, such as orthobiologics like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which have gained popularity in sports medicine for their potential to promote healing and accelerate a patient’s recovery from injury or surgery.
Seek a sports medicine physician who is knowledgeable about orthobiologics and has experience administering them, as these can support injury healing. They should be able to assess whether they are appropriate for your condition.
Additional Factors to Consider
Here are some other factors to consider in your search for the right sports medicine physician:
- Credentials and Board Certification: Ensure the sports medicine physician is appropriately board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery or the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
- Communication and Rapport: Choose a sports medicine physician with whom you feel comfortable communicating openly and who demonstrates genuine interest in your well-being.
- Collaborative Approach: Look for a sports medicine physician who embraces a multidisciplinary approach and collaborates with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, who play an important role in an athlete’s recovery.
- Accessible Location and Availability: Consider the location and availability of the sports medicine physician’s practice, ensuring it is convenient and accessible for your needs, especially in emergencies or urgent situations.
Sports Medicine Doctor in Naples, FL
Brian Wallace, DO is a board-certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine physician at the Joint Replacement Institute. Dr. Wallace has experience working with athletes of all levels and has served as head physician for many sports teams and tournaments.
From surgery to the use of orthobiologics, Dr. Wallace strives to deliver optimal relief to patients using advanced and highly effective treatments. He specializes in the treatment of ACL tears, meniscus tears, rotator cuff damage, tennis elbow, and fractures.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wallace, call our office today at (239) 261-2663 or use our convenient online request form.