People of all ages in Berks County are leading active lifestyles. And every year, thousands of them are injuring their bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. As a physician specializing in sports medicine, Dr. Stephen Soffer can evaluate your injury, provide you with state-of-the-art treatment, and get you back in the game quickly.

Sports Medicine Physician in Berks CountyDr. Stephen R. Soffer is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained by the renowned sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews. He is a leading expert in arthroscopic surgery and specializes in the treatment of many sports-related injuries. He has been included in U.S. News & World Report’s Top Doctor listing for the last five years as a result of his orthopedic expertise.

Players, coaches and team owners from National Leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS) as well as athletes in semi-pro, college and high school leagues, and seniors living active lifestyles have come to rely on the experience of Dr. Soffer as a trusted advisor and provider when considering surgical procedures and care options.

Common Sports Injuries

Many children and adults play sports in some way or another, whether it’s for fun in the backyard or on a competitive team. The health benefits are great, but injuries can range from minor to serious, and may require surgical repair. Common sports-related injuries include:

1) Sprains and strains. A sprain can occur in almost any type of physical activity, but are common among soccer, hockey, basketball, and volleyball players. Sprains happen when a ligament (band of connective tissue that attaches bones to other bones) overstretches or tears. A strain, also called a pulled muscle, occurs when muscle or tendon fibers overstretch or tear. Sprains and strains can range from minor to severe.

2) Knee injuries. Millions of people visit orthopedic surgeons each year for injuries to their knees. In fact, knee injuries represent about 55% of all sports injuries and about 25% of all problems treated by orthopedic surgeons.  Some injuries are mild; some are severe, involving damage to cartilage and ligaments.  The four knee ligaments that are most prone to injury are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

3) Shin splints. Common with runners and dancers, shin splints (or medial tibial stress syndrome), refer to pain on the inner side of the shinbone caused by inflammation of the muscles that surround it.  Failure to stretch or warm up before training, running on hard surfaces, wearing worn-out shoes with insufficient support, and intensifying a workout or training too quickly, contribute to shin splints.

4) Fractures. Otherwise known as broken bones, fractures are a fairly common sports injury. They are usually caused by a single injury to the bone. However, stress fractures can occur as a result of repeated stress on a bone, such as in running and jumping sports. Most fractures are emergencies, and may require surgery to completely repair.

5) Dislocations. Dislocations occur when force pushes the bones of a joint out of alignment. They are common in contact sports like football, and are most frequently seen in fingers, shoulders and knees. These injuries usually require medical treatment. Although the bone may be able to be put back in place, there is often severe damage to connective tissues.

When to Get Medical Attention 

Some injuries should not be treated on your own, but should be evaluated by a doctor, particularly if you experience any of these signs:

— You can’t put weight on the limb without it feeling unstable
— Excessive swelling
— The joint or bone moves abnormally
— Any injury marked by bleeding, immediate swelling or bruising
— Any injury that doesn’t improve or heal after a few weeks of home care and rest

Even if you’re not a professional athlete, you’ll want the same world-class care the pros get for their injuries from a sports medicine physician. To reach us in Berks County, call 610-375-4949 to find out how Dr. Soffer can help.

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