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What Is a Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist?

How We Can Help

Sports medicine physicians have received additional training in dealing with musculoskeletal medicine. If you need surgery to help get you back to your desired activity, a sports medicine orthopaedist possesses that expertise. However, approximately 90 percent of all sports injuries are non-surgical. A primary care sports medicine specialist can maximize non-operative treatment, guide appropriate referrals to physical therapy and, if necessary, expedite referral to an orthopaedic sports medicine surgeon. At the VCU Sports Medicine Center, we have all these services in one place.

Common conditions that a primary care sports medicine specialist can see include:

  • Acute injuries, such as ankle sprains, muscle strains, knee and shoulder injuries, and fractures
  • Overuse injuries, such as running injuries, rotator cuff and other forms of tendon injuries and stress fractures
  • Medical and injection therapies for osteoarthritis

Primary care sports medicine specialists have also received training in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine. Common examples of these include:

  • Concussion (mild traumatic brain injury and other head injuries)
  • Return to play decisions for sports-related concussions, or for sick or injured active individuals
  • Chronic or acute illnesses that occur in active individuals, such as infectious mononucleosis, asthma or diabetes
  • Nutrition, supplements and performance issues
  • Exercise prescription for patients who want to increase their fitness
  • Injury prevention and information on safe strength training and conditioning exercises
  • Team physician issues, such as pre-participation physicals, sports psychology, injury assessment and management, and coordination of care with other members of the sports medicine team (e.g., athletic trainers, physical therapists and personal physicians)

At the VCU Sports Medicine Center, we strive to work with your health care provider to provide these services if they don’t have the resources to do so. Whether you are an elite athlete, a participant in school or youth club sports or just want to be active, we are here for you.