When should I see a primary care sports medicine physician?

A man stops his bike in the forest and looks back.

Whether your child is joining a sports team at school or you consider yourself a weekend warrior, a primary care sports medicine physician is able to treat all the active members of your family in case of injury.

These providers are board certified in family medicine and have received additional fellowship training in sports medicine and musculoskeletal care, which means they have unique training that makes them the best option for anyone who has suffered an acute injury or an overuse injury.

Here's what you should know about what a primary care sports medicine physician can provide:

What injuries can a primary care sports medicine physician treat?

This type of provider can treat an array of issues caused by sports and physical activity, including acute and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are injuries such as ankle sprains, muscle strains and fractures. Overuse injuries are injuries such as rotator cuff tears, tendinitis and stress fractures.

"We take care of injuries, athletes and active people of all ages," said Dr. Kyle Smoot of UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. "We treat folks who are engaged in formal sports as well as those who are just trying to be active."

Primary care sports medicine physicians also trained in the non-musculoskeletal aspects of sports medicine. This includes:

  • Concussion and head injuries.
  • Chronic or acute illnesses, like asthma and diabetes.
  • Injury prevention.
  • Nutrition and other healthy lifestyle promotion.
  • Recommendations of safe training and conditioning exercises.
  • Recommendations of when to return to practice after an illness or injury.

Do they perform surgery?

"We are trained in musculoskeletal medicine and treat all joints of the body but don't perform surgeries," said Smoot. "We perform a lot of office-space procedures when needed."

In fact, around 90 percent of sports-related injuries do not require surgery. Primary care sports medicine physicians maximize non-operative treatment and work closely with orthopaedic surgeons when surgery is a necessary option.

Do I have to get a referral first?

No referral is necessary to see the primary care sports medicine providers at UK HealthCare.

You can request an an appointment online or call 859-323-6371.

This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

Topics in this Story

    Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine