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Whether you’re a pro athlete or a weekend warrior, the expert orthopaedic specialists at University of Missouri Health Care offer the most advanced treatment options to get you back in the game.

Our team approach to sports injuries

Our team of specialists includes sports medicine doctors, athletic trainers, dietitians and physical therapists. They work together to evaluate and treat your sports injury with the goal of getting you back to the sport you love as quickly as possible. With on-site services, such as X-ray and MRI, physical therapy and pharmacy, we offer comprehensive athlete care in one location.

Personalized care to get you back in the game

Our treatment plans never take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, our team takes the time to work with you to determine which treatments are best for your lifestyle, goals and recovery. Your personalized treatment plan for sports and exercise-related injuries may include surgical or nonsurgical solutions, such as minimally invasive procedures, soft-tissue massage or physical training and reconditioning. If it's determined you need surgery, our goal is to not only heal your injury, but do so with the least amount of time away from work, family and the things you enjoy. Our pediatric and adolescent sports medicine specialists also provide tailored treatment plans for younger athletes.

MU Health Care patient's personalized sports medicine treatment plan

Sports-injury conditions

Our specialists treat a wide variety of sports-related injuries for both adult and youth athletes, including:

  • Concussions
  • Fractures or broken bones and bone stress injuries
  • Shoulder rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder instability including dislocations and separations
  • Elbow injuries including elbow instability and ligament tears
  • Biceps and triceps tears
  • Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow
  • Hip injuries including labral tears
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Meniscus injuries
  • Knee torn tendons and ligaments (ACL, LCL, MCL, PCL)
  • Leg exertional compartment syndrome
  • Ankle sprains and tendon tears
  • Muscle strains
  • Acute or overuse tendon injuries (i.e. tendinitis or tendinopathy)
  • Bursitis, which happens when the bursae — small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles in joints — becomes inflamed
  • Athlete nutrition and sports and fitness eating disorders

Sports Medicine Injury Clinic

If you need evaluation for a sports or exercise-related injury, we offer a walk-in sports medicine injury clinic for athletic injuries Monday to Friday so you can be seen and back on your feet quickly. Adult and adolescent athletes are welcome to visit the walk-in clinic.

Learn more

Treating your sports injury

Unique subpopulations we treat

Many of our doctors and specialists are active in sports themselves, so we know how passionate athletes can be about their sport. Many of our providers also have received advanced training to take care of athletes. Our expertise and passion drive our specialized sport-specific treatment of athletic subpopulations, including female athletes, collegiate athletes, and youth sports athletes.

Nonsurgical treatment options

Many sports injuries fortunately do not require surgery. Common nonsurgical treatments include rest, pain relieving medications, icing the injured area, and physical therapy. Our therapists offer specialized treatment for concussions and post-injury muscle recovery, such as blood flow restriction therapy, which is a rehabilitation technology to help a person regain strength with less strain across the joint. We offer athletic training to prevent injuries, and active release therapy, a movement-based massage technique. Transitional training to aid athletes back onto the playing field is also available through our Human Performance Program.

Surgical treatment options

If your injuries require surgery, our team will help you through the process. Our surgeons use the latest techniques and minimally invasive procedures to get you back to your sport quickly. With outpatient surgery available for some procedures, you could be back home and recovering the same day. Some of our surgical treatments include:

  • Cartilage treatment: Our team is able to offer minimally invasive surgeries to repair cartilage damage. We also provide our patients opportunities to participate in ongoing clinical trials where innovative treatments for cartilage injuries and diseases are being used. These clinical trials involve collecting cartilage and regenerate the cells to help store damaged cartilage, and enhance your recovery.
  • Meniscus treatment: We offer minimally invasive surgery, known as arthroscopic surgery, which allows our surgeons to view inside the joint and fix repairable meniscus tears, preventing future damage and discomfort. When individuals are suffering from a lack of meniscus, we can also perform meniscus transplants.
  • Osteotomy: For patients who have degenerative joint disease due to overuse and arthritis, our surgeons can perform advanced procedures like an osteotomy that realigns your joint by adding a new bone wedge into the affected joint to relieve pressure from the damaged area.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP): We offer one of the leading-edge biologic options, PRP, to promote healing by using a patient’s own platelets to treat various musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. PRP can be used to treat rotator cuff injuries, tendinitis conditions such as tennis elbow, planter fasciitis, hamstring injuries, and more. Learn more.
  • Tissue transplants: Our doctors are able to treat certain joint injuries conditions, such as the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle joints, with tissue transplants in order to improve a person’s quality of life. With our advanced tissue preservation system, known as the Missouri Osteochondral Allograft Preservation System (MOPS), we can extend the life of transplant tissues, such as cartilage, longer, which improves the health of the transplanted tissue and success of the surgery.

Returning to your sport

Our sports medicine doctors and physical therapists offer unique comprehensive evaluation tests to assess your readiness to return to a sport after an injury or surgery and can personalize treatment to each athlete’s injury. Not only do we provide the best care possible, we have the science to know when an athlete is ready to get back into action. Some of this testing may include:

  • Comprehensive Return to Sport Test. We use a battery of functional tests to monitor your recovery and evaluate your readiness to return to your sport after your shoulder and knee injuries or surgeries.
  • Selective functional movement analysis (SFMA). A series of full-body movement tests for musculoskeletal evaluation that gives our team insight into what's causing your pain and what treatment plan, including exercises and physician therapy, is best for your condition and recovery.
  • Kinect – Portable Motion Analysis System. A markerless tracking system used to analysis your walk and movement. This information helps our team provide a personalized therapy plan to help you recover and back to your sport.
  • Dartfish Video Motion Analysis System. This allows our therapists to break down running mechanics and determine the need for running retraining to prevent or treat running-related injuries. Learn more about our specialized running therapy.

Affiliations and Sponsorships

The University of Missouri trusts the care of its athletes to our team. We also offer treatment of athletes through our affiliations and sponsorships with the following groups: Stephens College Athletics, the Show-Me State Games, the Columbia Outlaws Rugby Club, the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, the TriZou Triathlon, the Columbia Bicycle Club, Safe Kids Worldwide and area high school and junior high schools.

university of missouri football game vs. south carolina

Education and Research

Our sports medicine team actively engages advancing medical knowledge and patient care through research and in the training of the next generation of health care professionals and scientists.

The Thompson Laboratory for Regenerative Orthopaedics is a center of discovery through translational and transformative research performed in the heart of the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute.

The Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship provides training in advanced arthroscopic and open surgery of athlete injuries through exposure to practice in both academic and private-practice settings. Fellows will be a part of a multidisciplinary team collaborating with specially trained physicians and training staff to help care for the University of Missouri's athletes.

The Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship is a collaborative effort between the University of Missouri Departments of Family and Community Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Orthopaedic Surgery. The Fellowship provides specialized training in athlete care in various settings including clinic, sidelines, and training rooms. Fellows will also receive training on ultrasound procedures.

The Functional Assessment Screening Team (FAST) is a multidisciplinary team that develops motion analysis tools to improve the health and well-being of patients, including athletes.