Leg Sports Injuries

Leg injuries may occur over time or suddenly when participating in sports or recreational activities.

There are two types of sports-related injuries: sudden (acute) injuries and overuse injuries.

Overuse leg sports injuries

Overuse injuries may occur when participating in activities that require a lot of running or jumping. Common leg injuries include shin splints, muscle strains, or muscle cramps. Other leg injuries that may occur from overuse are stress fractures and chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), which is an exercise-induced condition that affects the muscles causing pain and swelling.

Sudden (acute) leg sports injuries

Acute injuries may occur when participating in sports that require a high level of contact like football, wrestling, hockey and basketball. These injuries may occur when falling, bending or twisting abnormally, or from a direct blow to the leg. Pain is usually sudden and severe.

Acute leg injuries include

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Dislocation
  • Muscle ruptures
  • Pulled muscles

Prompt medical attention is required for most acute leg injuries.

Symptoms and treatment of leg sports injuries

When you are first injured, the Henry Ford Sports Medicine team recommends the RICE method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

When to contact a doctor

Contact your doctor if you suspect that you have a broken bone or if pain or symptoms persist after the RICE home treatment. A doctor can diagnose your leg injury by conducting a physical exam, taking x-rays, and reviewing your symptoms and medical history.

Non-surgical treatments

Non-surgical treatments may include treatments at home, such as rest, physical therapy to help strengthen your leg and increase flexibility, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

Surgical treatments

Surgical treatment for a leg injury may be considered if all non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted. Your Henry Ford doctor will personalize your treatment based on your needs.

Physical therapy for leg sports injuries

A physical therapist may work with you to help you get back to your activities. Our dedicated rehabilitation team combines exercise and strength training with manual therapy. Special therapy, such as aquatic therapy, may also be used.

Find a sports medicine location for leg injuries.

Get treated for your leg injury at one of our conveniently located sports medicine locations in the Detroit Metro area.

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