The Formula One 2018 U.S. Grand Prix arrives in Austin this week at the Circuit of the Americas, and one our four board-certified surgeons specializing in orthopedic trauma, Dr. David Laverty, will be onsite for any medical emergencies. Dr. Laverty has more than a decade of experience in orthopedic trauma surgery at the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, the area’s only Level 1 trauma center.
While there is always the risk of a traumatic or fatal injury during racing, in reality, most drivers suffer from general orthopedic ones. Here are some of the injuries drivers and pit crews may face:
- Overuse injuries to hands, wrists and elbows from repeated and intense gripping of the wheel and tight steering maneuvers.
- Overuse injuries of the back, elbows, shoulder and knees for the pit crew from constant bending over and squatting to make repairs and change tires.
- Broken bones and fractures to the driver most typically affecting the spine, legs and ankles on an impact or from jamming breaks too quickly in the very tight cockpit setting of the car.
Drivers also frequently experience tendonitis, an inflammation of muscles, and chronic neck and back pain due to the strain of sitting in the same upright position for hours at a time.
All of these orthopedic injuries are not unique to race car driving, and as sports injury specialists, we see them routinely at Texas Orthopedics resulting from a variety of sports and other physical activities.
For treatment, we often first suggest the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression and elevation) or anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy, as well as non-opioid alternatives to manage any pain, such a dry needling, can also be effective.
If you have a sports injury that needs attention, whether you’ve been behind the wheel of a revved-up race car or not, please call us at (512) 439-1000 for an appointment. In addition to sports and trauma specialists, we have orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the hand, elbow, shoulder, knee, hip, spine, foot and ankle to help you get back to doing what you love.