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Football Injuries

As a collision sport, football puts players at a high risk for a range of injuries. Whether you’re a professional athlete or the parent of a youth football player, you can find customized care from our sports medicine specialists. We treat everything from concussions and traumatic injuries to overuse injuries with the expertise you’ve come to expect from Henry Ford Health.

Football injury causes

High-impact collisions and tackling make football players prone to acute injuries such as fractures, dislocations, ligament injuries and head injuries. But football players also put a great deal of stress on their muscles, tendons and ligaments. Overuse injuries can develop in their knees, ankles and feet due to repetitive sprinting, hard stops and constant cutting.

Youth players are especially prone to growth plate injuries. Growth plates are areas of cartilage on the ends of bones that aren’t fully grown and are vulnerable to fractures. These injuries need expert treatment to avoid complications with bone development.

Rigorous training schedules in high temperatures also put football players at risk of heat stroke, exhaustion and dehydration.

Common football injuries we treat

Our sports medicine specialists care for a wide range of football injuries, including:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
  • Concussions and head injuries
  • Hand and finger fractures
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Shoulder labrum tears

Football injury treatment

We provide a range of treatments for football injuries. If surgery is necessary, we work with athletes to build a safe return-to-play plan. Treatments may include:

  • Force plate assessment: A weight-plated floor and specialized sensors provide real-time feedback on your strength and reaction timing. We evaluate the way you jump, change direction and perform exercises. This information helps us gauge how well you’re healing from an injury and improve your performance.
  • Gait analysis: 3D software helps us evaluate your body mechanics when you move and sprint. We identify improper technique or muscle imbalances that may lead to overuse injuries in your lower body. Physical therapists and certified athletic trainers help you make adjustments to prevent re-injury.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: For soft tissue injuries, we may recommend PRP therapy. Injections of platelets from your own blood can help muscle, ligament and tendon tears heal faster.
  • Viscosupplementation: For some knee injuries or osteoarthritis, we may inject hyaluronic acid into your joint. This gel-like fluid lubricates the joint and reduces friction with movement, helping you to rehabilitate with less pain.

Most football injuries don’t require surgery. But if your injury doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatments, our surgeons offer a range of innovative procedures. We specialize in minimally invasive surgeries to help you recover faster and with less pain.

Football injury prevention

These strategies will help reduce your risk of injuries

  • Plan for rest periods between games and practice.
  • Commit to preseason strength training and conditioning.
  • Do not play through pain, which can make minor injuries worse.
  • Wear high-quality protective equipment and a helmet that fits properly.

Football injury care: Why choose Henry Ford?

Highlights of our sports medicine program include:

  • Trusted team: We are the official healthcare provider for the Detroit Lions. Our team also treats football players at high schools, colleges and universities throughout southeast and south central Michigan. Athletes of all skill levels receive elite-level care.
  • Minimally invasive treatment options: From Tenex procedures to treat Achilles and Patellar tendons to plasma-rich protein (PRP) injections to treat knee injuries there are options available to reduce procedure time, hasten recovery and increase potential for improved outcomes.
  • Coordinated care: Our athletic trainers are on the sidelines to treat injuries right away. If you need more specialized care, they refer you to a sports medicine physician for a thorough evaluation. We see you through every step of treatment and rehabilitation so you can get back on the field safely and without pain.
  • Convenient access: Most providers can see you within 24 to 48 hours, so you receive prompt care for your injury. We offer in-person and virtual appointments. Henry Ford also features walk-in orthopedic clinics with extended evening hours to fit your busy schedule.
  • State-of-the-art facility: Our Center for Athletic Medicine is one of the most comprehensive performance facilities in the nation. We have the equipment and staff to help you heal and return to football in peak condition.

Request an appointment

Request an appointment or learn more about our sports medicine services. We offer in-person and virtual visits.

Explore our blogs

Learn more about football injuries:

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