The medical staff at The Sports Clinics are all MDs who have chosen to focus a large part of their practices in sports medicine. They work as a team to facilitate early expert opinion on patients with sport- or exercise-related injuries.
They work in concert with a group of therapists and use various methods including physiotherapy, osteopathic technique, chiropractic, massage therapy, athletic therapy, sports psychology and homeopathy. The collective effort of these doctors allows for better co-ordination of treatments and more efficient and reliable services for our patients.
Many injuries are more clearly understood by using some form of imaging. X-rays are common and used to detect bone injury or change. They do not see soft tissues.
Bone scans are highly sensitive to bone and some soft tissue changes. They may highlight stress fractures or other subtle changes in tissue or bone.
• CT or CAT (Computerized Tomography) scans provide minute detail of body parts, particularly in bone but also some soft tissues. These scans are high in radiation.
• MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are used to assess bone and soft tissue pathology when it is not clear on examination. No radiation is involved.
The above procedures are very expensive and used only when advanced diagnosis or surgery is required.
The medical community is often asked, "Have concussions become more common lately?" The answer is both yes and no...
In recent years, concussion awareness has increased dramatically.
A "bigger, faster, stronger" trend has become commonplace across many sports and hence the risks of all injuries to athletes have increased.
We have noted a significant increase in the diagnosis and management of head injuries at TSC since early 2011. As a result, we have assembled a team of physicians and therapists to manage concussion using a standardized protocol derived from the latest concussion consensus.
At TSC, we use the SCAT3 assessment tool (click here for PDF) to assess athletes and follow a graded protocol for full return to play. We encourage anyone at risk to obtain a pre-season "ImPACT" test as this makes our return to play decisions more accurate.
As a coach, trainer or parent, if you suspect an athlete of having suffered a head injury, he/she should be removed from play immediately. If symptoms persist, the athlete should be prohibited from participation in any sport and assessed by a physician. We recommend no physical or cognitive activity until all symptoms disappear. This may involve keeping the player out of school. Return to play should be a gradual process after all symptoms have disappeared and should never be rushed. The experience of a first concussion puts the individual at slightly higher risk of a second concussion - particularly if they return too soon.
A recent addition to our service offerings designed to manage osteoarthritis is viscosupplementation / hyaluronic acid preparations (e.g. Monovisc, Durolane, Synvisc, etc.). These fluids are injected into the affected joint, usually giving relief for 6 to 18 months.
These substances are natural to the body, acting largely as a lubricant to provide better mobility and pain reduction. They are non-toxic, and have no significant side effects. If you experience osteoarthritis, speak to one of our health care professionals to determine whether or not viscosupplementation is appropriate for you.
PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma injections are a new approach to healing tissues using your body's own regeneration factors. No drugs are involved and it can be done directly or under ultrasound guidance.
What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma is created by the centrifuging of blood taken from your own body. The fluid, which contains a very high concentration of many healing factors, is injected by a physician into the area of concern. The injection must be done without anesthetic and, hence, the procedure can be uncomfortable.
Are there any foreign substances or drugs used?
No. This is simply your own blood being injected into the area of concern. Spinning of the blood allows us to separate out the plasma, which has a very high concentration of growth factors.
What are these growth factors?
There are actually many factors as a result of centrifuging the blood. Growth factors work on damaged tissue to encourage or accelerate healing.
How much blood needs to be drawn?
Usually 15 to 30 cc of blood (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) is drawn. This is done using a butterfly kit to maximize the extraction process.
What conditions is PRP typically used for?
PRP has many applications. It may be used to encourage repair of torn tissues. For example, a partially torn Achilles tendon or rotator cuff muscle could benefit from PRP injections. PRP is also used to treat arthritis, arthrofibrosis and many other conditions.
How effective is PRP?
PRP is relatively new, particularly in its application to sport injuries. Studies show conflicting results and very few large double-blinded studies are available. That being said, PRP has been used effectively by many high profile athletes over the years with good results. At TSC, our experience and patient feedback regarding PRP has generally been very positive.
How will I know if PRP would be helpful for me?
Speak to one of our sport physicians and they will be able to advise you. Most conditions should receive a more standard treatment to start, as PRP is often used for unresponsive problems.
What does PRP cost?
The cost of PRP injections will vary depending on the size of the area of concern. Typically, two or more treatments will be necessary; these are approximately 4 to 6 weeks apart. The cost of PRP is not covered under your provincial health plan but there may be some coverage under your extended health benefits.