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Regular people sustain ‘sports-like’ injuries to the same tendons and muscles as athletes. Over time, tendon tissue becomes less resilient, so patients can harm themselves more easily,” explains Chris Carey, MD, sports medicine specialist. Virtua’s Sports Medicine Program serves the athlete as well as the fifty-something man with a golf-related shoulder injury or a woman in her seventies who twists her knee in the garden.
Virtua surgeons specialize in advanced minimally invasive (MI) techniques, some of which are performed as same-day surgery. With MI surgery, less soft tissue is violated, individuals experience less pain, and there is usually less morbidity.
Even five years ago, a dislocated shoulder or a rotator cuff injury always meant an open operation and then, a four- to six-week post-surgery waiting period before starting range of motion exercises. Today, at four- to six-weeks after surgery, a patient can expect to have regained functional range of motion.
These changes are due, in part, to advanced minimally invasive techniques and also to a commitment to prehabilitation– rehabilitation before surgery.
Pre-surgical patients work with degreed fitness instructors to safely enhance strength and range of motion to the injured joint. It’s been shown that getting into the best possible shape before surgery brings the quickest return to maximum function afterward.
Dr. Carey: “Our goal is to get everyone back on the field or running after the grandkids in as fast and as safe a time-frame as possible.”