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Headshot Of Russell Ellis, MD

Not all sports injuries require surgery

Fall and winter in Alabama mean more than just shorter days and cooler nights—these seasons also signify a return to organized sports of all shapes and sizes. From Pop Warner football to those Friday night lights, basketball, volleyball and soccer, the colder months can bring with them an onslaught of sports injuries. 

While many sports injuries are severe enough to require surgery, as well as extensive rehabilitation, most injuries can be effectively treated through more conservative plans. The team at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is made up of experienced orthopaedic surgeons well qualified to perform surgery as needed. But the doctors on staff, including Dr. Russell Ellis, can also help patients avoid unnecessary surgery in favor of nonsurgical options whenever possible. Dr. Ellis is trained in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, specializing in non-surgical care of sports medicine as well as spine conditions and musculoskeletal disorders. 

“Certainly, some injuries that we see in both the competitive athlete and the recreational athlete may require surgery. However, surgical injuries are definitely in the minority.   The vast majority of both competitive and recreational sports injuries do not need surgery and can be effectively treated with conservative measures , ” Dr. Ellis stated.   

Treating Injuries

Non-surgical treatment options for sports injuries focus primarily on physical therapy, using repetitive exercises to strengthen muscles, ligaments, and tendons after injury.

After evaluating the injury and determining the best course of action, the physician and therapist will work together to develop a detailed, individualized program that includes stretching, exercise, and massage to aid in recovery.

This course of nonsurgical treatment can be particularly effective in treating sports related injuries including:

  • Ankle Sprains
  • High Ankle Sprains
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Knee Injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Overuse Injuries

Avoiding Injuries

Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, seeing a sports medicine specialist can be the best way to protect your health and improve your athletic performance. Physical therapy sessions are performed onsite at DOC Orthopaedic locations to instruct and assist you with exercises using resistance bikes, treadmills, whirlpools, and other equipment. Your physical therapist will most likely have you performing some of these exercises at home, even after you’ve recovered, to increase flexibility and allow you to regain a full range of motion.

Improving Recovery

Of course, nonsurgical treatments can also be used as effective companions to traditional and robotic surgeries, providing instruction and oversight to increase strength, enhance mobility and speed recovery.  By working with a practice such as DOC Orthopaedic, you can take advantage of a continuum of care, whether that begins with surgery or not.

With ten providers on staff, DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is a multidisciplinary musculoskeletal practice in the Morgan County district. Since 1972, DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has been committed to improving the lives of our patients by providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics, physical therapy, sports medicine, joint replacement and many more, the right doctors are never out of reach with DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. So, whether you suffer from an orthopaedic disorder causing shoulder, hip, knee, foot, ankle pain, or other symptoms, our experienced providers and physical therapists can help put your life back in motion again.

Taking care of the community 

In addition to treating individual patients, DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine offers a number of services that offer enhanced care for the student-athletes in our community, including: 

  • Sports physicals
  • Saturday morning clinic during football season
  • Football game coverage
  • On-site physical therapy
  • On-site MRI
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