Coping With Scars from Sports Injuries

sport injury scarAthletes can sustain a variety of injuries when playing sports. From surgery for torn tendons and broken bones to abrasions and lacerations, the formation of scars from sports injuries can affect even the most confident player’s self esteem. They can also affect flexibility and range of motion once the healing process has begun.

Fractures

There are two main types of injuries associated with fractures. A closed fracture doesn’t open the skin, but sometimes requires surgery. An open or compound fracture, where the bone penetrates the skin and creates an exterior laceration, can leave a jagged wound that is often prone to infections and malformation. Surgical scars are usually carefully placed. They are typically smaller and smoother than open fracture scars, since today’s doctors make a more conscious effort to minimize length and width of incisions and scarring.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Surgery for these types of injuries is not as common as allowing the injury to heal itself, but it is sometimes the best option for significant tears and ruptures. Similar to surgical scars from fractured bones, repairs to tendons and ligaments are typically short and linear. Resting an injured limb or joint can help keep swelling down. The less fluid there is in the area when the scar is healing, the less likely the scar is to be wide and raised.

Cuts and Abrasions

Injuries from playing surfaces and sports equipment can result in cuts and scrapes. Other types of injuries can result from turf burns and helmet or cleat impacts. All wounds should be kept clean and dry. Some may require stitches to minimize scar formation.

Scar Treatment

Effective methods ┬áto treat scars from sports injuries include using massage, exercise and applying scar medicine regularly. Massage and exercise prevent or minimize contracture and allow the wound to heal without limiting the athlete’s range of motion. The use of silicone scar gel or sheeting prevents hyperpigmentation and helps to fade scars by slowing down the build-up of collagen.