man running on beach
Sports Medicine

Comprehensive evaluation of sports-related injuries along with a rehabilitation plan for professional athletes, weekend warriors and everyone in between.

Our specialists recognize the importance of being able to maintain an active lifestyle and whether you’re looking to address a joint injury, receive prompt treatment for a concussion, or simply improve your overall athletic performance, UTMB Orthopedics Sports Medicine is here to help. Personalized treatment plans provided by a multidisciplinary team will help rehabilitate an injury to meet your recovery goals.

Your Care Team

  Conditions We Treat

Conditions / Procedures

  • Concussion


    A concussion is the result of a bump, jolt, blow to the head, or violent shaking of the body and the head.

    Signs of a concussion may include:

    • headaches
    • ‘pressure’ in the head
    • nausea, vomiting
    • dizziness
    • blurry vision
    • sensitivity to light or noise
    • fatigue
    • confusion
    • trouble concentrating
    • loss of consciousness
    • severe neck pain
    • seizures
    • agitation
    • increase in combativeness

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Treatment includes rest, pain management medications, and avoidance of physical activities and high concentration-related activities such as reading, using a computer, or watching TV. See our sports medicine physicians specially trained in concussion care, Dr. Bhardwaj and Dr. Propst, for a prompt diagnosis and recovery treatment plan tailored to your symptoms, lifestyle, and goals.

  • Knee cartilage injuries


    The surface of our bones is covered in rubbery cartilage that allows smooth fluid motion in the knee joint without pain unless it becomes worn or damaged. A strong, direct blow to the knee joint is generally the cause of cartilage injury, particularly to participants of high impact sports such as football or wrestling. On the other hand, aging can cause cartilage to deteriorate completely and result in bone-to-bone contact leading to severe and debilitating pain.

    Symptoms may include:

    • pain
    • inflammation
    • stiffness
    • a clicking or grinding sensation
    • joint locking

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Non-surgical treatment options may include rest, elevation, ice, injections, and physical therapy.

    However, in some cases, surgery to repair the cartilage may be recommended and our sports medicine surgeons are equipped with the experience and skills to perform a cartilage repair or restoration procedure based on the severity of the injury and portion of cartilage that is damaged.

    Knee cartilage repair surgery generally removes frayed cartilage to smooth and contour the cartilage surface. The procedure eases pain due to less friction and ultimately, slows down further cartilage degeneration. Furthermore, a cartilage restoration procedure can use a variety of techniques, dependent on the injury, to rebuild the cartilage by either supplementing the existing cartilage with a cartilage graft or stimulating the bone to produce new cartilage. Both types of surgeries will require assistive devices post-operation, such as a brace or crutches, and physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion.

    All post-op recovery treatment plan details will be discussed with your sports medicine surgeon prior to the operation so you know what to expect.

  • Knee meniscus injuries


    The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee that serves as a shock absorber. Injuries most often occur during sports caused by pivoting the upper leg when the foot is planted, and the knee is bent. Aging is also a cause for degenerative meniscus tears.

    Symptoms may include:

    • stiffness
    • swelling
    • knee locking
    • the sensation of your knee “giving way”
    • loss of range of motion

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Non-surgical treatments include the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), anti-inflammatory medication, and injections. In the case that surgery is necessary, our UTMB providers specialize in meniscus repair, reconstruction, and transplantation. Each type of surgical procedure is dependent on the injury as well as various factors such as the patient's age, weight, stability of ligaments surrounding the meniscus, and previous surgery or injury.

  • Rotator cuff repairs


    The rotator cuff consists of tendons and four muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis) that are connected to hold your upper arm bone in your shoulder socket. A rotator cuff injury occurs when one of these tendons becomes partially or fully torn.

    Symptoms may include:

    • pain
    • shoulder weakness
    • decreased range of motion
    • difficulty with overhead activities
    • crackling sensation when engaging in specific movements

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Depending on the severity of the injury, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, and physical therapy can help aid recovery. However, if the conservative treatments have not reduced pain, steroid injections or surgery may be considered. Arthroscopic minimally invasive repair can be performed as a day surgery procedure.

  • Separated shoulder


    Shoulder separation generally occurs during a direct blow to the point of the shoulder or fall on the shoulder that either stretch or tear the ligaments connecting the shoulder blade to the clavicle.

    Symptoms may include:

    • pain
    • swelling
    • bruising
    • tenderness
    • arm weakness
    • limited range of motion
    • a bump at the top of the shoulder

    Treatment/procedure options:

    With the assistance of pain medication, rest, applying ice to the injury, and physical therapy, a minor condition of shoulder separation may take a few weeks to a month to fully recover with the use of an assistive device such as a sling. Severe cases, however, may require surgery to repair ligaments and stabilize injured bones.

  • Shoulder dislocation


    Shoulder dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone leaves the cup-shaped socket of the shoulder blade and can be constituted as a partial or full dislocation depending on the severity.

    Symptoms may include:

    • severe pain
    • swelling
    • tenderness
    • numbness
    • bruising
    • limited mobility
    • deformity

    Treatment/procedure options:

    First time dislocation is usually treated with rest or physical therapy but may also require manipulation of the shoulder bones to return them back to their proper position. Manipulation of the shoulder bones, also known as a closed reduction, may require a muscle relaxer, sedative, or general anesthetic prior to this process depending on the severity of pain. The process would then be followed by immobilizing the shoulder for three days to a few weeks with the use of a sling or splint. If shoulder dislocation continues to occur, surgery can become necessary to stabilize the shoulder. Our surgeons are experienced with all types of shoulder stabilization ranging from minimally invasive arthroscopic repair to open surgeries such as the Latarjet procedure.

  • Strains and Sprains


    Strains and sprains are interchangeably used because of the common symptoms of the two conditions. For instance, a joint sprain is the overstretching or tearing of ligaments, which are the bands of tissue that connect bones in a joint, whereas a joint strain is the overstretching or tearing of tendons or muscles. Commonly affected areas of the body include the back, ankle, wrist, knee, and thumb.

    Symptoms may include:

    • pain around the joint affected
    • swelling
    • limited mobility and range of motion
    • stiffness
    • instability
    • feeling or hearing a pop in the joint when injury occurred
    • warmth, or redness of the affected joint
    • Symptoms that differentiate the two conditions include bruising in a sprain and muscle spasm in a strain.

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Treatment options for mild strains and sprains may include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, applying ice on and off for 20 minutes during the first 24-48 hours, compression to reduce swelling, and elevating the affected area above the heart. More severe cases may require immobilization such as splint or cast. Severe cases may require surgery to repair torn ligaments and/or reattach muscles and tendons.

  • Traumatic knee injuries


    Traumatic sports injuries can happen suddenly or may result from lack of training, faulty use of protective devices, or insufficient warm-up exercises. From dislocated joints, bone fractures, or an injury to one or more of the four major ligaments in the knee (ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL), our orthopedic providers are fully equipped to provide a prompt evaluation to begin a treatment plan based on your recovery goals.

    Symptoms may include:

    • severe pain
    • swelling
    • tenderness
    • complete lack of mobility

    Treatment/procedure options:

    Treatment depends on the type of injury, affected area, and severity. If surgery is necessary, details of the procedure and post-operative treatment will be discussed with your sports medicine surgeon prior to the procedure so that you know what to expect.

Football game in action
football player being screened by doctor for concussion
Man getting arm examined by doctor

 Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect during my visit?

The initial visit will include a comprehensive history and exam of the affected area by your Sports Medicine orthopedic physician. A thorough inquiry regarding the nature of your injury will be conducted by your provider including questions concerning when the pain started, how you were hurt, and the level of fitness or activity you engage in during training, or an athletic event. These are all pieces of information that will help your provider gain the full knowledge necessary to determine a diagnosis and prevent re-injury in the future. After a diagnosis, your physician will create a full treatment and recovery plan that may include medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

What if surgery is recommended? What should I expect?

If your provider considers you as a candidate for surgery, the UTMB staff will provide post-operative instructions and schedule your surgery at one of our campus locations. The type of surgical procedure will depend on your injury and discussed in detail between you and your physician. Outpatient vs. inpatient procedure, recovery time, physical therapy, post-operative medications, and more are all topics of discussion that will be addressed to create the recovery plan that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

What if I am not ready for surgery?

If you feel like surgery isn’t for you at this time, non-surgical alternatives exist to help rehabilitate your injury, prevent further injury, and manage the pain with medication. For example, rest, exercises, medications, injections, or physical therapy are options to consider. UTMB offers a convenient outpatient pharmacy located at our League City, Clear Lake, and Galveston campuses where we can dispense medication for you. Furthermore, our League City, Clear Lake, and Galveston campuses feature physical therapy locations to help you regain strength and mobility in the affected area.

Events & Resources

Joint Reconstruction Boot Camp - League City

- , 2030 - - Medical Plaza One, Room 2.210/2.212 - 2240 Gulf Freeway South, League City, Texas 77573

FREE informational class about total joint replacement surgery. 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month

Joint Reconstruction Boot Camp - Galveston

- , 2030 - - Jennie Sealy Hospital, Room 2.506A - 712 Texas Ave., Galveston, Texas 77555

FREE informational class about total joint replacement surgery. 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month

Joint Reconstruction Boot Camp - Angleton

- , 2030 - - Professional Bldg. II Auditorium - 132 East Hospital Drive, Angleton, Texas 77515

FREE informational class about total joint replacement surgery. 2nd and 4th Friday of the month

  • Sports Injury Clinic

    Student athletes and sports injuries

    From concussions to injuries that may require surgery, Dr. Stacy Leung covers what to do if your student athlete is injured playing or practicing their favorite sport.

Our Locations