Girls Sports Injury Terms Defined – Just the Basics with Help from the Doc
Sports injuries in athletic young girls come with the territory. While there are preventative measures that help reduce the risk, chances are pretty solid that your athlete will meet with pain from time to time. Therefore, every so often, we will take your medical questions and pose them to the appropriate physician in order to help contribute to your understanding. Here is the first batch:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test in which the patient is placed in a large tube and pictures of the person’s body are created. There is no radiation. MRI is best for looking at soft tissue.
You will be asked to take off all metal before entering the MRI scanner because the machine is very similar to a large magnet.
There are two types of MRI – open and closed. Typically, the closed MRI will produce more accurate test results. However, if you have problems remaining within a closed area for a significant amount of time, you can ask your orthopedic doctor about the open MRI option.
Computed Tomography better known as a Cat Scan (CT) is another non-invasive medical test in which the patient is placed in a tube and pictures of the person’s body are created. There is radiation associated with this procedure, albeit small amounts. CT is best for looking at bones.
Overuse Injuries are injuries that occur due to repetitive activities such as running or jumping. Athletes most prone to overuse injuries range from long distance runners to gymnasts and figure skaters. These specific injuries can range from muscle, tendon and ligament damage to stress fractures in the bone.
Nutrition can play a roll in the prevalence of overuse injuries. Poor nutrition, particularly eating disorders, are associated with stress injuries in the bones. Overeating with the associated weight gain can add stress to the bones, muscles, and tendons. (Tendons connect muscle to bone.)
Strains are injuries to muscle or tendon that can range from mild “pull” to complete rupture.
Sprains are injuries to ligaments. (Ligaments connect one bone to another.) These too can range from mild “pull” to complete rupture.
Thanks to our readers for your initial list of requested medical term definitions. While these are just a few of the terms associated with sports injuries, we welcome additional inquiries.
And thanks to Dr. Lazarus for helping to make today’s girls sports injury terms a little easier to understand.
Martin L. Lazarus. M.D.
Vice Chairman, Academic Affairs
Chief, Section of Musculoskeletal Radiology
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Associate Professor of Radiology
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Note: These definitions are very general and are not intended in any way as medical advice. As always, you should consult and discuss all medical issues with your physician.