Sports Injuries Specialist

Rocky Mountain Spine & Sports Medicine

Rock Navarkal, MD, JD

Pain Management Specialist & Spine & Sports Medicine located in Denver, CO

Playing sports, performing a physical job, or otherwise leading an active lifestyle provides ample opportunities for you to experience one of many typical sports injuries. At Rocky Mountain Spine & Sports Medicine in Denver, Colorado, Rock Navarkal, MD, JD, and his professional team of medical experts treat all types of sports injuries. Some of the most common include rotator cuff, meniscus, and ACL injuries. Dr. Navarkal’s training and experience in sports medicine includes working with college and professional teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Denver Broncos, and Glendale Raptors. If you have a sports injury that needs treatment, call Rocky Mountain Spine & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.

Sports Injuries Q & A

What is a rotator cuff injury?

Your rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that hold your shoulder joint in place and help to lift or rotate your arm.

If one or more of these tendons tears, you may experience some of these common symptoms of a torn rotator cuff:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected shoulder
  • Weakness lifting or rotating your arm
  • Crackling sensations in your shoulder

A rotator cuff tear can be complete, meaning the tendon completely detaches from your bone, or partial, meaning the tendon is frayed or damaged.

Torn rotator cuffs are common injuries that may occur at once or slowly over time. An acute rotator cuff tear may happen after you fall down on an outstretched arm or lift something too heavy. Degenerative tears, on the other hand, develop slowly over time from repeating the same motion.

What is a torn meniscus?

The meniscus is one of two rubbery pieces of cartilage that work together to cushion your knee joint. A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Men, women, and children of all ages can injure their knees, but meniscus tears most frequently torment athletes who play contact sports.

You may feel a pop in your knee when you tear a meniscus. Although it can be a painful condition, many athletes continue to play and walk with meniscus tears. Without treatment, a piece of your meniscus can detach and drift into your knee joint, causing it to slip, pop, or lock.

Common signs and symptoms of a meniscus injury include:

  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Locking of your knee joint
  • Weakness in your knee

What is an ACL injury?

An anterior cruciate ligament injury is another common source of knee pain. Sprains or tears to the ACL occur frequently in athletes who play physically demanding sports, such as soccer, football, or basketball.

A variety of different activities may cause injury to your ACL, such as:

  • Stopping suddenly
  • Changing direction quickly
  • Landing from a jump improperly
  • Slowing down while running
  • Contact collisions


Similar to a meniscus tear, you may hear a pop when you injure your ACL. Your knee may also give out suddenly. Other common symptoms of a torn or sprained ACL include:

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling in your knee within 24 hours
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Pain while walking

If you have a sports injury that needs treatment, call Rocky Mountain Spine & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.

How does a doctor treat sports injuries?

Dr. Navarkal possesses a wealth of knowledge and diverse set of skills in the field of sports medicine from his professional training and experience working with college and professional teams.

Based on your specific condition and needs, he may recommend any of the following treatments for your sports injury:

  • Regenerative medicine such as PRP or stem cell injections
  • Medication management
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture

If you’re suffering from a sports injury, contact Rocky Mountain Spine & Sports Medicine or schedule an appointment online today.

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