It’s that time of year when athletes of all ages look forward to
getting back in the game and, unfortunately, often wind up in the emergency
room. Dierick Sparks, MD, chief of surgery at Riverview Regional Medical
Center, talks about avoiding the most common springtime injuries.
“Muscle strains and joint sprains tend to show up most often this
time of year,” Dr. Sparks said. “Strains usually result from
the overexertion of muscles that are tight or weak from inactivity. Sprains,
caused by twisting or turning a joint in a way it’s not supposed
to go, are also very common.”
What’s the best way to avoid injury? Start slowly.
“The biggest mistake people often make is trying to resume last year’s
activity level out of the gate, instead of slowly ramping up,” said
Dr. Sparks, a board-certified sports physician specializing in orthopedic
surgery. “It’s safer to set a timeline and goals, and then
slowly increase levels.”
Dr. Sparks also recommends stretching both before and during activities,
especially after muscles have been worked a while and are more pliable.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
Not Just for Athletes
Think this information is only for the athletes in your circle? For gardeners
or anyone getting ready for the start of a new season of yardwork, proper
preparation is important, as well. “We see lots of people with yardwork-related
sprains from working on uneven ground in gardens and flowerbeds, along
with strains from overexertion,” commented Dr, Sparks.
Returning to Play
Off your game due to knee problems? Riverview RMC’s Orthopedics Center
now offers MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing to get you back to your favorite warm weather activity.
“Computer assisted partial knee replacement allows us to place an
implant into the knee through smaller incisions,” Dr. Sparks said.
“This technology allows more precision than in the past, providing
shorter recovery times and enabling patients to increase their activity
level more quickly.”
In addition to new surgical technology, Riverview Regional has recently
renovated the Orthopedic and Same Day Surgery centers and seventh floor
patient rooms, and is in the process of remodeling surgery suites. Two
new nurses’ stations allow nurses to respond to patients easier.
“This is certainly an exciting time for orthopedics at Riverview,”
said Dr. Sparks. “The commitment of the individuals at the Hospital
along with capital expenditures like the MAKO system and new room equipment
represent our dedication to providing a good experience for our orthopedic
patients. We strive to support those people in the initial stage of trying
to get back to who they were and want to help them get a fast start to