The ability to move around freely without pain is easy to take for granted. Most people do not realize how vital our ability to walk and run is until those abilities are taken away, especially when you are an athlete. When faced with mobility issues due to bone, joint, or spine injuries, usually the only option is orthopedic surgery.

Flooded With Athletes

Orthopedic treatment is widely used for sports players due to intense motion and physically demanding play. Major orthopedic surgeries are prevalent among professional athletes, but most common injuries, especially more minor ones, don’t require surgery at all.


Perhaps one of the most common sports injuries is a sprain. A sprain is caused by the tearing or stretching of the ligaments within a joint. Wrists, ankles, and knees are some of the most injured areas due to sprains. However, sprains can appear almost anywhere on the body.

Not much in the way of surgery can help sprains. The primary remedy for a stretched ligament is cold compress, elevation, and rest for the injury area. Sometimes the physician will prescribe the use of a sling to prevent further aggravation.

Ligament Injuries

Anyone who follows pro sports most likely has heard the terms using to describe ligament injuries. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) are common ligament injuries, which almost always require surgery when torn.

After surgery has been completed, a lengthy rehabilitation process begins. Patients must slowly reintroduce the injured area back into use. Sudden jerk movements or any jarring blows can easily cause aggravation to the area and lead to further injury.

Various Areas of Operation

Sports-Related Injuries

Many sports-related injuries end up leading to orthopedic surgery. Due to the heavy use of areas like the shoulder, elbows, ankles, and knees, it’s not uncommon to see athletes sustain repetitive injuries to the same area. Aside from sprains and ligament tears, there are several other injuries that typically require surgery.

  • Bone fractures – These can require the use of plates and screws.
  • Elbow/Shoulder – Tennis elbow and rotator cuff surgeries on blown-out, throwing arms are quite common.
  • Hands and wrists – Flexor tendon injuries and nerve compression issues cause severe grip issues.

Replacement Surgery

Most major replacement surgeries are done through an orthopedic surgeon. Over time damage and disease can wear down joints to almost nothing. Patients can find new life and renewed mobility by replacing these damaged joints with more durable, handmade substitutes. Surgeries of this nature often require a very long recovery time with extensive physical therapy.

Two of the most common replacement scenarios in sports are the knee and shoulder. Shoulder replacement typically comes after retirement for pitchers and quarterbacks after a demanding career. However, if an injury is devastating enough a shoulder replacement could force early retirement.

Amazingly, there have been instances of athletes undergoing knee replacement and returning to professional level competition, which, in some cases, can even be achieved post-surgery. This is an incredible testament to the will of the player and their surgical team.

At Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine, we strive to provide a level of care that produces lasting results. Having access to professionals with a good track record for things like orthopedic arthroscopy is crucial. We are available for all significant orthopedic needs in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. For consultations and appointments, contact us today!