Revolutionizing Sports Medicine: How Technology is Changing Orthopaedic Care

The framework of the human musculoskeletal system is a complex web of tension, joints, muscles and other parts that function coordinately to power our mobility throughout the day. 

As the susceptibility to injury or damage to the system is widening among sports and older individuals, healthcare professionals and researchers are exploring innovative technologies and improvements in orthopaedic care.

The rise of technological advancements in orthopaedic sports medicine drives the industry’s growth and provides a superior healthcare experience for patients. Studies show that innovations in diagnostic and surgical procedures are aiding surgeons to make data-driven decisions by implementing software during the procedures. 

In a nutshell, a combination of tradition and high-end technology in orthopaedic care tends to provide positive and personalized outcomes while continuing to shape the industry’s future.

Advanced Imaging Techniques 

Diagnosing orthopaedic problems is getting revolutionized by advanced medical imaging techniques in the field, giving more accurate results and saving you valuable time. 

  • MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is usually suggested to examine soft tissues. The patients will be subjected to an MRI machine that forms a magnetic field around the body without radiation exposure. It will cause the molecules in their body to vibrate, undergoing translation to give detailed 3D pictures of the tendon or ligaments. 

  • CT Scans

A Computed Tomography scan is similar to an X-ray and provides a 3D detailed and cross-sectional image of the anatomy of the bones and joints. It will allow the healthcare professional to view the bone structure’s size, shape and position deep inside your body. 

  • Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound technology is especially helpful in assessing the tendons located beneath the skin, like Achilles tendons. The primary benefit of this diagnostic procedure is that it uses high-frequency sound waves, which are non-invasive and painless. Ultrasound is often used to diagnose Baker’s cyst behind the knee joints and rotator cuff tear in the shoulder. 

Robotics and Minimally Invasive Procedures

  • Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robots in orthopaedic surgery have been gaining momentum in recent years. During the process, the surgeon will use computer technology to control or direct the robotic arm’s movements with a small instrument while looking at the 3D image of the detailed anatomy of the patient. The precision of the process gives more accuracy and flexibility. 

  • Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes a camera to look intricately within a joint rather than performing open surgery. It is known for its high profile in treating sports injuries in athletes like meniscus tears, rotator cuff tears and runner’s knees. Research shows that 80% of surgeons perform arthroscopy due to their shorter rehabilitation period. 

  • 3D Printing Technology

Three-dimensional printing technology in orthopaedic care creates personalized implants, instruments and devices. For instance, if the surgeon performs a complex joint replacement, the surgeon will make an anatomical model replica print of the joints to analyze the possible obstacles and craft a plan accordingly. 

Wearable Technology

  • Smart Clothing

In sports medicine, the goal is to help people gain better joint functionality levels. A stitched, texture-based sensor offers a variable resistance response to find and correct poor movement patterns. 

The sensor is now fabricated using industrial sewing methods to transform into smart, athletic clothing. It allows individuals to analyze their movement patterns and reduce the risk of injury. 

  • Wearable Sensors

Wearable sensor devices in orthopaedic care improve athletes’ health and physical performance. These devices, like wristbands, will collect data and deliver accurate information to optimize the movement and behaviour of the patients. 

  • Activity Trackers

The success of orthopaedic care is difficult to gauge, while the primary outcome is to reduce pain and increase mobility. Wearable activity trackers like smartwatches are now helping healthcare professionals to measure the outcomes of patins by collecting their pulse rate, quality of sleep, calories burned and more. 

Telemedicine

  • Virtual Consultations

As modern sports medicine allows people to live more actively and longer, the demand for healthcare professionals is also rising. Due to technological advancements, it is now possible for people to visit the doctor through virtual consultation for any sports injuries. 

You no longer have to spend your time in a waiting room but sit in the comfort of your home, consulting with the physician at your convenience. 

  • Remote Patient Monitoring

Telemedicine gives a better opportunity for assessment and counselling regarding orthopaedic care. Unlike traditional face-to-face monitoring, telemedicine makes it easy and safe for doctors to use real-time patient monitoring at any time or place. In this way, you will have a better chance of identifying the cause and symptoms of the joint injury.

  • Mobile Applications

Smartphones have increased functionality, allowing healthcare professionals and patients to possess beneficial clinical applications. The apps for orthopaedic and sports medicine can enhance patients’ involvement in decision-making and empower them to improve outcomes. The virtual setup will also alert patients about their appointments, medications and prescriptions. 

Advancements in Rehabilitation

  • Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation

The Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation environment provides healthcare professionals with the devices to analyse and train patients’ movement patterns. For sports medicine, physical therapy specialists will check your injury and general health status online using intelligent symptom trackers. 

Using their kinaesthetic sense, the experts will let them feel their movement through joints, muscles and the vestibular balance system. 

  • Virtual Reality (VR) Rehabilitation

Virtual Reality takes the normal atmosphere of rehabilitation and physical therapy programs by offering real-time diagnostic data. It will enable the professional therapist to achieve their goals that couldn’t be again using traditional methodologies. It aids patients’ movements while performing exercises and monitors their progress.

  • Exoskeletons

Exoskeletons are wearable rigid, resistible components designed to help paralyzed patients to move better by supporting them. Besides its impeccable potential to improve performance, it also rescues sports injuries. The flexible joints allow the patients to perform a wide range of movements by recreating the natural pattern of the legs. 

Conclusion

As individuals live their active lives, the chances of injury increase with age and the demand for high-quality orthopaedic care. Apart from sports injuries, the rising incidence of conditions related to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity makes patients look for specialized and individualised orthopaedic interventions.  

While the innovation once seemed like an aspiration, it now stands at the forefront in the field of sports medicine. The availability of the above-mentioned innovative technologies in orthopaedic care balances the durable surgery and appropriate rehabilitation program that will help you lead a productive and satisfying life.

Pin It on Pinterest