Mild sports injuries can lead to crippling arthritis : Dr (Prof) Raju Vaishya


Mild sports injury is a major concern for players whose sports career spoil due to injuries. However most sports injuries are mild and temporary, with no long-term effects. Minor sprains and bruises or overuse injuries treated properly may be nuisances but do not necessarily cause any permanent problems. Some injuries, however, may lead to crippling arthritis later in life, but new techniques like Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI), help young people who suffer from arthritis or knee damage due to sports injuries or accidents, by growing cartilage tissue in the affected area, allowing for a complete recovery.

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) has recently become available in India, where near normal chondrocytes (cartilage cells) are developed, which can then be implanted to treat the damaged cartilage has been catching on. Many young people are opting for this procedure. A number of such surgeries have been performing in India. This surgery is a good option because it allows young people to get back to sports quickly and they can resume normal activity in 7 to 9 months. The treatment he claims is effective because good cartilage cells are taken, harvested and cultured and used to replace the damaged cartilage.

These good cells grow on the damaged cartilage cells by stimulating near normal cells and making the affected area as good as new.

There are a few different methods to prevent sports injuries. The first is proper conditioning. When someone is poorly conditioned or fatigued, the muscles do not protect the joints, and an injury is more likely. It is important for athletes at any level to be properly conditioned for their sport, not only with regards to stamina but also strength and flexibility. Proper nutrition and hydration also come into play. The next aspect of prevention is proper form and technique in the specific sport, assured in part by following the rules of the game. Finally, certain sports offer protective equipment, and this may be of benefit in injury prevention. Once an injury has been sustained, there are still measures that may prevent arthritis. Avoiding strenuous or demanding activities may decrease the chances of arthritis. In many cases, as in the torn ACL, the problem can be surgically corrected, restoring proper mechanics and thereby hopefully preventing arthritis.

The more common way a sports injury leads to arthritis is when a ligament or supporting structure is damaged, causing abnormal mechanics in the joint. This greatly increases the stress on the articular surface, which over time, wears out and causes arthritis. One of the most known examples of this type of this injury is in the knee. With the increased attention of media to the injuries sustained by star athletes, most people have heard of an ACL injury.



Dr. (Prof.) Raju Vaishya

Dr. (Prof.) Raju Vaishya is President of  Arthritis Care Foundation  & Senior Consultant Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. Dr. Raju Vaishya is a specialist in sports injuries, who has performed many such surgeries.

Vinod Kumar

Health Journalist & writer. Editor of monthly health magazine "Health Spectrum."

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