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What is Sports Medicine?

By Jose A. Ramirez-Del Toro, M.D.

This is only part of what ‘Sports Medicine’ signifies. Sports Medicine is a specialty that focuses on issues related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and cardiovascular fitness. Sports medicine does not only refer to athletes, but also weekend warriors and elderly persons who have muscle, joint, and musculoskeletal pains.

There are two categories of sports medicine physicians: surgeons and non-surgeons. Surgical sports medicine doctors are orthopedists who have obtained subspecialty training after finishing their primary orthopedic residency. These doctors are trained in all manner of injuries, and have gained extra training in surgical approaches for correcting injuries. They have a strong anatomical knowledge base and are specialists in the latest surgical techniques for operative correction of musculoskeletal problems.

The non-surgical sports medicine physicians are non surgeons who have completed residency in a primary field such as family medicine or physical medicine and rehabilitation, and then go on to complete subspecialty fellowship training in sports medicine. These doctors are also trained in injuries, but instead of learning surgical techniques, they focus more on non-surgical approaches. Their understanding is anatomical and functional. They try to maximize non-operative solutions to musculoskeletal problems, with advanced knowledge in when to refer to a surgeon. These doctors also focus on fitness training for all people, not just athletes, and can guide non-athletes in safely implementing new workout regimens, with focus on injury prevention.

Here at The Orthopedic Group, we have assembled a team of both surgical and non-surgical sports medicine physicians with subspecialty certification, bringing with us the latest advances in surgical and non-surgical approaches to injury treatment and prevention. From musculoskeletal ultrasound to platelet rich plasma to fluoroscopically guided interventions, to the latest arthroscopic approaches, we are on the cutting edge of injury and injury prevention. We also provide on-site physical therapy at some of our offices by therapists with highly skilled specialty training in manual treatments of injuries, completing our team. Let our team help you get back in the game of life.

Dr. Ramirez-Del Toro is a Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation physician with The Orthopedic Group, PC. He specializes in non-operative management of musculoskeletal conditions. He is also the Team Physician for California University of Pennsylvania Athletics. He can be reached by calling any of The Orthopedic Group office locations: Mt Lebanon – (412) 276-7022; Charleroi – (724) 483-4880; Belle Vernon – (724) 379-5802; Uniontown – (724) 425-0300

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