Sports physicians specialise in the diagnosis and management of sporting injuries, from the recreational to the elite athlete, by combining their musculoskeletal and medical knowledge with the pathophysiology of injuries, to provide optimal long term care to the athlete.
This will often involve liaising with the referring doctor / physiotherapist and the organisation of high quality investigations (XR, ultrasound, MRI, CT), to provide a comprehensive evaluation and enable an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Our sports physician's, Dr Scott Burne and Dr Angus Bathgate, consult regularly at our practice, assist orthopaedic surgeons in their surgery and work with professional sports teams, the Australian Water Polo and Olympic Rugby Seven's respectively.
In order to see our sports physicians, you will need to bring a GP referral with you to your appointment if you intend to lodge a claim with Medicare.
Services offered include:
- acute musculoskeletal injuries (such as ankle sprains, muscle strains, knee & shoulder injuries, and fractures)
- overuse injuries (such as tendonitis, stress fractures)
- mild traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- adolescent / growth related conditions (Pars defects, Osgood Schlatter's, Sever's Disease)
- non-operative management of all arthritis conditions
- medical issues related to sport (exercise induced asthma, excessive fatigue, return to sport after illnesses, hydration / nutritional)
Types of Patient Investigations
There are a number of different investigations that maybe ordered by the sports phyisician, to identify and confirm an accurate diagnosis for you, including:
is used to create images of your bones (or organs) to help diagnose conditions or diseases. It acts as a great 'screening tool', providing accurate information, to assess bone fractures, dislocations, joint integrity (ie arthritis), chest conditions (ie pneumonia) and for planning / performing surgery.
High frequency sound waves provide real-time, high-resolution images of tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves throughout the body. The accuracy of an US can vary greatly due to being dependent on the operator, so a doctor will be selective on where you can get this investigation done. As sound waves rather than radiation is used, US's are safe; it provides live and dynamic evaluation of ligament and tendon integrity. It also provides a means to ensure guiding needles into a target area throughout the body is accurate i.e. cortisone injections into bursa, joint aspirations.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A painless technique that allows doctors to look internally at the soft tissues and joints of the body, by using a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of the water contained within these structures (i.e. images are created by the movement of the protons within water). The test takes approx. 30-45min to complete, and you are inside a tunnel, so if you are susceptible to claustrophobia, please discuss this with your doctor. It does not expose you to any radiation, but it provides accurate information on the integrity of ligaments (tissues connecting bones), menisci (tissues absorbing shock in the knee), and tendons (tissues connecting muscle to bone) and joint surfaces.
Computed Tomography (CT)
A very sophisticated XR machine that acquires images of inside your body by rotating an XR tube around you. The information can be displayed in two ways. Firstly as a 'slice' of your insides, much like taking a slice of bread from the middle of the loaf. Secondly, it can be summated and presented as a three dimensional structure, which can allow the radiologist to analyse it from multiple angles. It does emit a moderate dose of radiation, so our physicians will only request it when it is needed for optimal management of your injury. It is predominantly used to provide accurate information of your bone structure and integrity, which is often required by surgeons when planning surgery.
Website: For further information on Scott and Angus, please visit St Vincent’s SportsMed