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UAB Sports Medicine: Frequently Asked Questions

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What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine is the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of injuries and conditions related to athletic activity, exercise, or similar physical activity. Sports medicine physicians are certified specialists who help patients maximize function, minimize disability, and return to an active lifestyle after injury.

Is sports medicine strictly for athletes?
No. At one time sports medicine was seen as a specialty devoted to athletes, but it’s now part of mainstream care for anyone with an active lifestyle. If you ride a bike, run, hike, golf, or regularly engage in other strenuous physical activities, then at some point you may need the medical care provided through sports medicine. It involves the collaboration of family medicine, orthopaedics, exercise science, cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, and emergency medicine.

What kind of care is available?

UAB Sports Medicine provides a range of orthopaedic surgical and non-surgical care and rehabilitation. Most of the procedures we perform are arthroscopic or minimally invasive, meaning they are done through small incisions. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, meniscal repairs, and rotator cuff repairs account for many of these procedures. Backed by the resources of both UAB Medicine and Children’s of Alabama hospital, we maintain in-clinic access to radiology and ultrasound imaging services. We also maintain a dedicated Concussion Clinic for all athletes. Our specialty care is supported and advanced through ongoing research in the sports medicine field.

Is sports medicine mainly for treating injuries?

Our staff members work together to treat patients in a comprehensive fashion. A large part of the care delivered by our primary care physicians and athletic trainers involves injury prevention, wellness promotion, and treating illnesses or conditions that affect performance or create risk of injury. A wide variety of care is administered to many types of patients in the clinic, including a special focus on youth athletes. Research and clinical care related to overuse injuries, injuries in youths who have not fully reached skeletal maturity, and sports-related concussions are important parts of the care we provide.

Who is on staff?              

The clinic is comprised of surgeons, physicians, care coordinators, certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, and radiologists. We also have a certified pedorthist, who is a professional with specialized training in modifying footwear and suggesting supportive devices to address conditions that affect the feet and lower limbs.

How does UAB Sports Medicine serve the community?

We are the official provider of medical care for UAB Athletics and the Legion Football Club, Birmingham's professional soccer team. UAB Sports Medicine also provides orthopaedic care for multiple high schools, middle schools, and youth athletic leagues in the Birmingham area. The clinic has consistently taken a leadership role in the community by educating athletes, parents, and coaches about proper athletic training, development, and injury prevention.

The UAB Sports Medicine staff is available to answer routine questions about sports-related injuries. We offer two convenient clinic locations, at UAB Hospital-Highlands and at Children’s of Alabama hospital. Click here to learn more about musculoskeletal injuries, rehabilitation, and other aspects of sports medicine.