Tennis Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Tennis injuries can sideline an athlete for an entire season if they are severe enough. As the weather gets warmer, players of all levels will be hitting the courts to get in a workout. Tennis is great exercise but can also lead to a variety of injuries. Taking precautions to avoid such injuries can help ensure a long, healthy tennis season this year.

There are a number of tennis injuries that players sustain while taking in a match. Tennis is a sport that engages all parts of your body. From your arms to your ankles, each play requires the work of several muscle groups and many joints.

Some of the most common tennis injuries include:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Tendinitis of the knee, wrist, shoulder and achilles
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis)
  • Strains of the calf, abdominal muscles, groin, hamstrings
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Meniscus tear
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries
  • Back pain

Don’t let this extensive list of tennis injuries scare you from enjoying such a wonderful sport. While no amount of planning can fully protect you from injury, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent a number of these issues.

Preventing tennis injuries:

  • Stretch and warm up before playing a game.
  • Work with an instructor to learn proper form.
  • Practice a variety of swings to prevent overuse. Repetitive motion of any kind can lead to overuse injuries that could otherwise be avoided.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take breaks. Fatigue is a leading cause of injury. As your body tires, you are less likely to be using proper form.
  • Use supportive footwear.
  • Physical conditioning and cross training in other sports can help strengthen your body and protect against certain injuries.

If you are suffering from one of the above tennis injuries, seek the advice of your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon. Continuing to play tennis with an untreated injury could possibly lead to something more serious.

Ski Injuries: Identifying and preventing common issues

Ski injuries plague thousands of winter sport enthusiasts every year. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned veteran, a ski injury can put a major damper on your winter break plans.

Skis injuries range in severity depending on a variety of factors. Injuries to the knee, ankle, shoulder and arm are very common. No matter what your level of experience, it is important to be informed on injury prevention before you hit the slopes this season.

Common Types of Ski Injuries

Foot and Ankle

  • Lateral ankle ligament sprain
  • Ankle fracture
  • Fifth metatarsal fracture
  • Frostbite


  • Meniscus injuries
  • ACL and PCL tear or strains (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament)
  • Medial collateral ligament injury

Hand and arm

  • Wrist sprain
  • Wrist tendonitis
  • Skier’s thumb
  • Finger fractures
  • Wrist fracture
  • Frostbite

Shoulder and elbow

  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Shoulder separation
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder fracture
  • Elbow fracture

Neck and Back

  • Neck strain
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disk
  • Muscle strains of the back

Prevention of ski injuries can mean the difference between a great vacation and months of painful recovery. Weeks before you hit the slopes, it is important to make sure you are in good shape. Plan ahead with skiing conditioning exercises such as squats, agility drills and hill or stair running. Building up endurance is key for minimizing injuries that happen when your body is fatigued.

In addition to building strength and stamina, focus on building your core strength and flexibility. Improving your balance and posture will give you a good foundation for proper form on the slopes. Increasing flexibility will help your body respond well to the rigorous demands of skiing.

Another key to preventing injury is to take it slow. Even if you are trying to pack a lot of fun into just a few short days, do not overdo it. Plan a shorter day of skiing on your first day so you do not fatigue too quickly. If you do too much at first, you will be more sore and tight for the rest of your skiing days.

If you do get injured while skiing, be sure to allow your body a chance to heal before hitting the slopes again. What might start as a minor injury can quickly escalate if you try to push through the pain with further activity. Be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon if you do sustain a ski injury this winter.

Knee Arthroscopy for Meniscus Tear: Recovery and Running

To a runner, knee injuries can be a potentially devastating occurrence. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) paired with physical therapy, can often lead to a full recovery. However, some injuries are chronic and debilitating, requiring further medical treatment.

Suffering from a meniscus tear is both painful and frustrating. Daily activities become difficult and running can further aggravate the issue. While not all tears require surgical intervention, many patients can benefit from a procedure called a partial meniscectomy.

Lori Heinrichs, an Agility Orthopaedics patient, struggled with a torn meniscus over the course of several months. After fearing that her running career was over, Lori came in for a consultation that changed everything. Dr. Nadaud performed a knee arthroscopy with a partial meniscectomy on Lori. After fully recovering, Lori was able to ease back into her running routine successfully.

Here is what Lori had to say about her experience:

“While training for a half marathon in 2014, I sustained a knee injury that prevented me from running the race. I saw an orthopedic surgeon and was told that it was time to stop running. I was only 32 years old and my running days were over? That’s when I went to see Dr. Joshua Nadaud. After looking at my MRI, he said he would do all he could to ensure I would run again. In 2015, Dr. Nadaud performed surgery on my knee and set me up with physical therapy. It was not long after and I was back in my running shoes. In October of 2016, I ran my first half marathon and was completely free of knee pain for the entire 13.1 mile race! Thank you Dr. Nadaud for the miracle work you did on my knee!”
If you have been struggling with knee pain, don’t ignore it. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the best plan for a full recovery.

Marathon and Half Marathon Training and Race Preparation

Fall is an exciting time of year for marathon and half marathon runners. Cool, crisp mornings mean perfect weather for distance running. If you have been training for a marathon or half marathon over the past several weeks, you have likely been following a race plan. If you are preparing to start training, you are likely looking for the best method to perform well on race day and to avoid injury.

There are several things to consider while training for a marathon or half marathon. Whether this is your first long race or you are a seasoned marathoner, treating your body right will help you not only before your race but also in recovering after.


When people think about marathon training, one of the first things that comes to mind is the concept of “carb loading.” Carbohydrates before a race can be beneficial in giving your body a boost of stored energy before a long run. However, Nutrition is a huge part of training from day one.

As you start logging several miles on long runs, consider nutritional supplements to eat during your outings. Energy gels like GU Energy, Power Bar Gel and Hammer Gel can give you some added fuel to get through a running slump.

Over the course of several weeks of training, your body will be burning more calories than normal. This is not an excuse to over-indulge in your favorite carbohydrate heavy foods. Rather, balancing your meals with lean proteins, plenty of leafy greens, healthy fats and whole grains will give your body the energy it needs to perform well from day one of training through race day.

Hydration is just as important during race training as nutrition. Make sure to drink water consistently throughout the day and night, not just before hitting the pavement. Consider Electrolyte replenishment in the form of dissolving tabs or sports drinks.

Running Schedule

Both seasoned runners and first-time racers should rely on some sort of training schedule to follow. There are a number of great schedules out there. Most suggest incorporating 2-3 shorter runs during the week and one long run over the weekend. This long run should increase each week as you approach race day. Do some research and ask fellow runners for their best training plan. It is best that you find one that fits best into your schedule and that isn’t hard on your body.

Cross Training

Just as important as the running portion of your marathon and half marathon training is cross training. Running multiple days each week is tough on your joints. Beyond running, incorporating strength training, yoga, cycling and swimming can help with speed and stamina. It also breaks up the monotony of running.


Recovery is vital to race training. For both marathon and half marathon race preparation, there are several days in which your body takes a beating from a long run. Be sure to stretch before and after your runs. It is also key to refuel your body with lean proteins and healthy fats. Muscle repair is essential to help avoid injury and build strength. Also be sure to hydrate all day after your runs.

Injury Prevention

Running is great exercise and has wonderful benefits for your body. But even for seasoned runners, competing in a marathon or half marathon is a big trauma to your body. It is very important to allow your body to heal and recover after a long run. Take the day off every time you have a long run. After the race is over, be sure to take a few days off. It is also beneficial to schedule a massage for the day after your race to decrease muscle soreness and inflammation.

If you do sustain an injury during race training for a marathon or half marathon, be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon. Don’t try to push through training no matter how much you want to complete this goal. It is important to address any running injuries as soon as they develop to avoid more serious issues.

Friday night football: Common injuries and prevention

The shift from summer to fall signifies a number of changes. The weather shifts, the leaves begin to turn and weekends become filled with a variety of fall sports. Football is one of the most popular sports of the season. Whether enjoying this activity as an athlete or a parent of a player, there are several things to consider before launching into a busy football season.

There are a number of common injuries sustained by football players during any given game. Despite wearing pads, helmets and supportive footwear, each and every play can result in a serious injury.

Here are the most common football injuries:

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and strains
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears and strains
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears and strains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar fractures
  • Knee dislocations

Head Injuries

  • Concussions caused by single or repeated trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease

Overuse Injuries

  • Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff strains or tears

Shoulder Injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder tendinitis

Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained ankles
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle fractures

It is no secret that football can be a very dangerous sport. Prevention is key for avoiding a football injury this season. Addressing any injuries, as soon as they occur on the football field, is the best way to avoid serious issues. Consult a board certified orthopaedic surgeon for a full assessment and treatment options.

Make sure to stay hydrated while playing football or any sport. Choose proper fitting gear that is in good condition while practicing and playing in all football games. Using faulty pads can result in an unnecessary injury. Never play football without a helmet and report any pain or injury to your coaching staff.

Always warm-up before hitting the football field. Many strains and tears can be prevented if you are taking simple precautions such as stretching and warming up appropriately.


Back to School: Avoiding Sports Injuries

Rolling into the month of August, many parents are anticipating the start of a new school year. Back to school is a busy time for families. If you are a parent, you are likely prepping your kids by obtaining items from their school supply list as well as new clothing and shoes for the year ahead. As you check off items on your back to school list, do not neglect health and physical preparation.

How can you help your child avoid injury as sports start ramping up this fall? Consider the following tips for staying healthy this school year.

  • Take your child in for a sports physical. Some schools require a permission form to participate in school sports. However, not all athletic programs mandate a check-up with a family physician. Make sure there aren’t any existing conditions or previous injuries that could be detrimental to your child’s health.
  • Send your child prepared! Just as you get your son or daughter ready for school with the right supplies, you should gear up your child with the right equipment. Always send at least one water bottle to avoid dehydration. In addition, make sure your child’s sporting equipment is in good condition. Check helmets, pads and other protective items to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Invest in the right footwear to avoid injury. Most sports require very specific shoes to ensure performance and protection. As your foot and ankle support the entire body during most sports, it is imperative that you start with the proper foundation to avoid getting hurt. Have your child sized for shoes before purchasing and consider orthotics for additional support.
  • Conditioning and stretching are key for being prepared to start up a new sport. Kids are typically pretty active over the summer, but time off from sports during break can set them back. Just as with adults, jumping right into a demanding exercise routine can be rough on the body. Encourage your child to ease into things by stretching and doing some conditioning exercises.

Tennis Elbow: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, is not always an athletic injury. Do not be fooled by the name. This painful issue plagues a variety of people, many of whom have never even picked up a racket.

Tennis elbow is a very common injury caused by overuse of your arm and hand muscles. The repetitive motion that tennis players employ can result in this condition. However, anyone that engages in a similar movement of the forearm can suffer from this injury.

Diagnosing Tennis Elbow:

Unless you are a trained medical professional, it is not a good idea to self-diagnose your symptoms. Seeking the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon will ensure that you get the proper diagnosis and treatment. If you suffer from the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor:

  • Experiencing pain on the outside, lateral, area of the elbow.
  • Experiencing pain when lifting objects.
  • Experiencing pain when grasping or squeezing objects.
  • Experiencing pain when shaking hands

Treating Tennis Elbow:

Once you have been diagnosed with tennis elbow, the next step is alleviating the pain and healing the injury. Again, consult a physician about your injury to ensure you are addressing the correct problem. Some methods for treating tennis elbow include:

  • Rest your arm/forearm. This may seem simple but avoiding the repetitive motion that caused your injury will prevent further damage and allow the area to heal.
  • Ice the affected area. Never apply ice directly to the skin. Use a cold compress or ice pack to soothe the painful part of your arm.
  • Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDS, as directed on the bottle. You can also try Aleve or ibuprofen.
  • Physical therapy exercises may increase strength and alleviate symptoms.

Preventing Tennis Elbow:

If you have suffered from tennis elbow at some point or feel that you are at risk of this injury due to your activity, here are a few steps to avoid future symptoms:

  • Stretch before engaging in repetitive motion with your arm or forearm  before starting a new activity.
  • Take breaks as often as possible if you are doing an activity that requires repetitive motion of the arm.
  • Do strengthening exercises as recommended by a physician or physical therapist.
  • Cease or decrease activity at the first signs of injury.
  • Massage your arm and forearm often to gently work the muscles on the top of your forearm.

Work-related Injury:

For the recreational athlete, taking a break from activity to heal tennis elbow isn’t a terrible inconvenience. However, if your injury is work-related, your options for treatment may seem limited. Housekeepers, painters, mechanics and factory workers are just a handful of employed individuals that are not necessarily able to take a break and heal. If this is the case for you, make sure to see a board certified orthopaedic surgeon to assess all treatment options.

Identifying and Treating Shin Splints

As the weather warms and the days get longer, people are dusting off their tennis shoes and getting motivated to get into shape. Whether you are a runner, walker or somewhere in between, it is very important to be cautious when stepping up your fitness routine. Don’t let your enthusiasm backfire!

Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), can be frequently diagnosed in people that fail to ease into a new exercise regimen. Overuse or even switching your running/walking terrain can result in this painful issue.

What are shin splints?

If you suffer from shin splints, you are likely experiencing pain on the inside portion of the tibia (shin) bone. Specifically, irritation occurs where the muscle attaches to the bone. This irritation is caused by inflammation of your muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. Pain is often felt in both legs but can also be restricted to one side of the body.

How can you treat shin splints?

  • Rest: Taking time off from your exercise routine may be difficult to do. If you are an avid runner or just starting a new routine, hearing that you need to slow down can be frustrating. Resting your body can help alleviate the pain caused by shin splints. This does not necessarily mean that you need to cease all activity. Try low impact exercises like biking, swimming, rowing or an elliptical machine.
  • Ice your shins: While elevating your legs, apply ice indirectly to the painful area. It is important to NOT put ice or an ice pack directly on the skin in order to avoid damaging tissue.
  • Proper footwear and orthotics: Supporting your feet with the right shoes and even orthotic inserts can improve your shin splints. Having stability in your feet and legs can correct the issue over time.
  • Take over the counter medication such as Advil or Aleve.

Always consult your physician before starting any exercise program. If you are experiencing symptoms that have gotten worse or have lasted longer than a week, you should contact a physician. Continuing to exercise despite pain can result in serious injury.

Patient Testimonial From a High School Athlete

Struggling with an injury can be frustrating and painful for anyone. But when you are a high school athlete, dealing with an injury takes on a very significant meaning. Being an athlete at the high school level not only becomes part of a person’s identity but can also be a vital part of planning for the future. Some athletes look to scholarship opportunities in order to attend college and others benefit from character development, a feeling of belonging and the importance of commitment.

PatientTestimonial-2When an injury sidelines a high school athlete, there is often a sense of urgency for the individual. For this reason, seeking out the best form of treatment, as swiftly as possible, can be key to returning to activity safely. The doctors at Agility Orthopaedics recognize how important getting the right treatment is for athletes. Whether this means surgery, physical therapy or rest, our physicians always consider health and safety first.

Anthony Klier, a varsity soccer player at DeSmet High School, recently sought treatment from Josh Nadaud, M.D. after sustaining an injury. Reflecting on his experience, Anthony provided the following testimonial:

“I sprained my ankle during warm ups before the first varsity soccer game my junior year.  I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Nadaud and got in to see him right away.  Although my mom was with me throughout the visit, everyone at the office made me feel very comfortable.  I was worried that I would miss several weeks of practice and games but after an MRI and two weeks of wearing a boot and going to physical therapy, I was ready to hit the field again. Dr. Nadaud took extra time explaining my injury and treatment to my mom and me and thanks to him I have not had any recurring issues. I would recommend Dr. Nadaud to any high school athlete with an ankle injury.”

If you have a high school athlete struggling with an acute or chronic injury, please contact the Agility Orthopaedics office for an appointment.

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