Emergency physicians can see the full gamut of sports-related injuries, said James M. Ellis, MD, FACEP, an emergency physician at Greenville Health System in Greenville, South Carolina. From injured shoulders to torn Achilles tendons to concussions and even cardiac problems, emergency physicians need to be at the ready to diagnose and treat the injuries faced by athletes and exercise enthusiasts.
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That topic will be the focus of Dr. Ellis’s talk, “Weekday and Weekend Warriors: Diagnosis and Treatment of Sports Injuries in the ED.”
Dr. Ellis believes that emergency physicians may see an increase in sports-related injuries as people are doing more to physically push themselves. “There are more injuries of these types because people are playing hard in addition to working hard,” he said.
Dr. Ellis will discuss children, who may come in with injuries from sports like football, soccer, or gymnastics; college athletes; and adults, who may use their weekend to embark on long bike rides or other demanding exercise that leaves them more prone to getting hurt.
Part of Dr. Ellis’s talk will focus on what testing and treatment an emergency physician can provide. This will include what kinds of injuries require more costly tests, such as MRIs, and which injuries may—or may not—warrant a referral to an orthopedic specialist or another health professional. “We’re embarking on population health management, with fewer tests and spending less money. Some of these injuries can be taken care of less expensively with physical therapy,” he said. “We need to have more of a focus on that in emergency medicine.”
Dr. Ellis has an extensive background in treating sports injuries in patients of various age levels and in a variety of settings. He also is the emergency physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Dr. Ellis will briefly mention concussions, which can be a common sports-related injury, but he believes concussions warrant their own separate session to be addressed fully.
“Weekday and Weekend Warriors” will also cover cardiac issues, such as syncope and sudden death in the seemingly healthy athlete.
Vanessa Caceres is a freelance medical writer based in Florida.