Sports Medicine

sports medicine

Whether you are a beginner, recreational athlete or an elite professional, you can be sure to benefit from the fully integrated approach to recovery and maintenance of health and well being offered by the MedStar Montgomery Medical Center sports medicine orthopaedic specialists. Our teams of medical specialists—including physicians, sports physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers—are dedicated to helping you reach or return to your desired level of activity, as quickly and safely as possible.

What separates MedStar Montgomery Medical Center from other medical facilities is our unique understanding of athletes and other physically active individuals and the injuries they suffer. We appreciate the sense of urgency and the high level of expectations our patients bring to treatment.

Learn more: Common Injuries | Sprains |  ACL Injuries |  Meniscus Injuries | Treatments | Return to Play Program

Focus on Total Performance

We know that to manage injuries appropriately, we need to look at why they occurred. So, in addition to traditional evaluation measures, our assessment includes careful review of training techniques, inspection of equipment, and/or biomechanical activity analysis.

At MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, our goal is not simply to treat your injury, but also to integrate the injured joint or muscle into the total performance of the body. We emphasize early intervention, learning techniques to avoid complications, and maintaining good physical conditioning even during injury convalescence.

Common Injuries

A number of injuries are common in the sports arena, and, depending on the sport you play and how often you participate, often require specific treatments. The list of possible injuries is almost as long as the list of activities in which you can participate, but a number of injuries occur fairly frequently in all sports.

Sprains and Strains

A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn, while a strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is injured. Most sprains and strains respond well to conservative therapy, which includes R.I.C.E. and rehabilitation.

  • R.I.C.E. therapy is best applied in the 48 hours after an injury and includes:
    • Rest and reduction in activities
    • Ice applied for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day
    • Compression, such as with elastic bandages
    • Elevation above the level of the heart to decrease swelling. (Over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help decrease pain and inflammation.)
  • Rehabilitation varies according to the injury, but may include special exercises and a gradual increase of activity until healing is complete. Some sprains or strains may be severe enough to require surgery to repair them.

Ligament Injuries

Ligaments are the tough, flexible tissues that connect two bones or cartilages or hold together a joint. The knee has four main ligaments: the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. When the knee is suddenly twisted or directly impact, these ligaments can be injured.

  • Cruciate ligament injuries may respond to conservative treatment; however, most require surgery. The sports medicine surgeons at MedStar Health have significant experience and expertise in a number of surgical options and will discuss the best treatment choices with you.
  • Collateral ligament injuries are more likely to respond to nonsurgical treatments; however, severe injuries or ones that also involve the cruciate ligaments usually require surgery.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

The most commonly injured of the ligaments is the ACL, and not just by athletes—over 250,000 ACL injuries occur annually within the general population. Tears in the ACL generally result in ACL surgery, extensive physical therapy, significant time away from recreational activities, and a likelihood of arthritis within 10 years. 

ACL Injury Prevention
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center has developed a comprehensive program to reduce injury risk that involves proper dynamic warm ups, a targeted strengthening program, and a progressive plyometric program. Our mission is to help educate and train as many teams, coaches and parents as possible to help minimize the risk of an athlete suffering this common injury.

ACL Treatment
To initially manage ACL injuries, MedStar Montgomery Medical Center specialists focus on obtaining a full range of motion of the knee and allowing the swelling to subside. Once these have been achieved, both conservative and ACL surgery treatment options can be exercised.

Conservative treatment involves muscular strengthening and often bracing to help stabilize the knee. It is optimal for those who are older or less active, and those who do not plan to return to athletic or vigorous activity. Surgical reconstruction offers a better alternative in preventing recurrent instability and allowing for return to function. 

Meniscus Injuries

The knee meniscus is a piece of cartilage that serves as a shock absorber between the ends of the leg bones, helps lubricate the joint, and distributes body weight across the joint. Meniscal tears are typically caused by twisting or hyperflexing the joint. These tears can also occur due to degenerative processes caused by aging. Occasionally, these tears may occur simultaneously with injury to the ACL. When the ACL is injured, these tears can result in pain, swelling, and often clicking or catching within the knee.

Minor tears may be treated with therapy and strengthening exercises. More extensive tears often require surgery to reattach the meniscus, replace it with donor cartilage or remove it. Most procedures can be performed using the minimally invasive arthroscopy techniques that allow shorter hospital stays and decreased recovery times. More information about meniscal surgery is available here.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon, which joins the muscles of the lower leg, is the largest tendon in the body. A ruptured Achilles is a serious injury that typically requires surgery. MedStar Montgomery Medical Center surgeons now expertly perform this surgery with minimal incisions, ensuring less pain, faster healing, and excellent long-term results.

Torn Rotator Cuffs

The rotator cuff comprises the muscles and tendons that hold the upper arm bone it its joint. A torn rotator cuff may respond to non-surgical therapies, but often will require surgery. Arthroscopy often is used to repair small injuries, and minimal incision surgery is now an option to repair complete tears. 

Sports Medicine Treatments

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center offers numerous programs and services for those athletes or active individuals looking to enhance their performance, skills, and abilities.


Orthotics devices worn in the shoe can re-align a person's foot and reduce some of the injuries that begin at the foot and travel upward. Because the feet are the body's main shock absorbers, a number of injuries and conditions can arise when they are compromised. If used properly, orthotics can absorb the shock, reducing the risk of injury. MedStar Montgomery Medical Center sports medicine experts offer complete prosthetic and orthotic services for adults, adolescents, and children.

Platelet Rich Plasma Treatments

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a treatment option that has uses a patient's own blood products to facilitate healing. Essentially, specialists using this technique gather blood from the patient and separate out the platelet portion. Platelets have been shown to release healing proteins called growth factors that work together to coordinate tissue healing. By injecting a high concentration of platelets into injured soft tissues, physicians hope the healing process will be accelerated.

Much work remains to be done in exploring the application and utility of PRP. Our regeneration lab at the MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital has recently been awarded a grant to explore the application of PRP in shoulder tendinopathies. This and future studies will provide great insight into this promising sports medicine treatment, paving the way to a better understanding of common and disabling sports injuries

Return-to-Play Program

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center offers a research-based evaluation to assist athletes in their return to full competition. The program uses video motion analysis software and objective criteria to determine if an individual is functionally ready to return to play. The scientifically based testing identifies deficits in strength, power, and/or biomechanics that increase an athlete's risk of lower-extremity injury. Participants in the program also receive a comprehensive exercise program to address those deficits and are instructed in proper jump-landing mechanics until they can pass the return-to-play criteria.

Running Injury Clinic

MedStar National Rehabilitation Network's Running Injury Clinics combine highly skilled therapists with cutting edge technology. More information is available here. Watch a video about our Alter-G Antigravity Treadmill.

Soccer Performance Enhancement

MedStar Health specializes in individualized programs for youth, collegiate, and professional level athletes, as well as casual weekend sports participants. Our goal is to enhance the conditioning, human performance, injury prevention, and participation ability of those interested in achieving their greatest potential.

The MedStar Health Performance Enhancement Program for Soccer is a comprehensive six-week program. Our professional staff of physical therapists, certified strength and conditioning specialists, and licensed soccer coaches train the athletes three times a week. The sessions are 75 minutes each, with an exceptional ratio of trainers to athletes ensuring individualized attention for proper technique and safety. The program is designed to:

  • Improve soccer specific strength and conditioning
  • Increase power, speed, and agility through plyometrics
  • Improve dynamic balance and reaction time
  • Enhance acceleration and deceleration, and explosive change of direction
  • Increase flexibility to prevent injury associated with soccer participation
  • Provide essential nutrition and hydration information to maximize soccer performance

Throwing Clinic

Injuries seen previously only in professional pitchers are now commonplace in players of any position in high school and younger. The great majority of these are overuse/repetitive strain injuries that could be prevented with:

  • Proper education
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Conditioning

After completing the program, most pitchers are able to throw harder and with better control while decreasing their risk of injury and surgery. It is our goal to bring the latest research in training and injury prevention to the baseball community. In addition to individual evaluations performed in the clinic, we also give educational presentations to camps, teams and leagues outside the clinic. Evaluations include assessment of posture, strength and flexibility for the arm, core and lower extremities. We then use those findings to customize exercise programs that will be most beneficial for each individual athlete.

Video Gait Analysis

If you are an athlete with running injuries, Dynamic Video Gait Analysis (DVGA) may help solve your injury problem. MedStar Montgomery Medical Center's sports medicine experts are able to assess problems of the foot and lower extremity that may be causing your pain or symptoms. DVGA helps assess the following:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ankle pain
  • Shin pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Low back pain

Multiple high speed cameras identify reflective markers placed on several joints of the body, including the trunk, hip, knees, and feet. These markers are a reference point for several camera angles, which pick up any abnormal movement of these joints while a patient runs on a treadmill. Once the motion is recorded, a specialized computer software program pinpoints which joints are functioning incorrectly.

If joint alignment problems are discovered, a personalized sports medicine program is developed for the runner which may include physical therapy for strengthening and flexibility, orthotic devices, or training and shoe modifications.

Our teams of medical specialists—including physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, sports physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers—are dedicated to helping you reach or return to your desired level of activity, as quickly and safely as possible. Learn more.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an orthopaedics specialist, call 301-774-8958 or schedule an appointment online below. 

Related Information

Meet Our Team

Our teams of medical specialists—including physicians, sports physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers—are dedicated to helping you reach or return to your desired level of activity, as quickly and safely as possible.