Sports Medicine/Too old for sports?

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Question
I am 56. I am also overweight, and out of shape. Up until my late forties, I was still able to play pick up soccer with my co-workers. During the last game, I suffered a meniscus tear in one knee, and a pulled ligament in the other. Before that I got a bad case of plantar faciitis. That recently flared up again, and I am just getting over it. I am a slow healer, and all of those injuries took a long time to heal, and they needed physio, and an operation for the knee. Just lately I feel real good, injury and pain free, and am losing a bit of weight. Here is my 'issue':
My co-workers, all of whom are younger than me, keep inviting me out to play, now that I am 'healed'. I admit I am very tempted! The mind is willing but the flesh is weak. I would love to go out for fun, but I feel I will just re injure myself again. Am I better to just watch from the sidelines these days, or should I join in? For that matter, is there an age when doctors reccomend that guys should hang up the cleats for good, and concentrate on less physical exercise to avoid injury? I dont see too many overweight late fifty year olds playing soccer or even just jogging! Maybe they know something I dont! Thanks for your thoughts!

Answer
hi Bud- with your history of injury & past surgery, at the very least you should consider starting any return gradually & get feedback of your physio. It's not so much your age, many can be quite active in lots of sports like soccer or tennis but you've also got to be smart. Competative games are definately more possible for injury- maybe you want to start doing some light jogging, continue to get in stronger better condition under your physio supervision & see how you feel. Jumping right back into these pick up Competative games is not smart. If you progress well & feel good enough to participate after some conditioning, then maybe it's ok at "not such a Competative or aggressive level". Maybe not as often.
Key points are to be properly prepared & be gradual in your approach- don't feel pressured to "jump back in". Then your body will let you know!.. hope this helps, good luck, Dr. Bob Weil

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Dr. Bob Weil

Expertise

Diagnosis & treatment & PREVENTION of foot & foot related lower extremity sports related problems. Indications & uses of prescription in shoe orthotics. Foot, ankle functional exercises for injury prevention & enhanced performance. Specific specialty in orthotic use in figure skating & hockey. Access to all topics re sports medicine at sportsdoctorradio.com- radio shows & articles re "the physical & mental challenges of the high performance youth athlete.

Experience


Publications
Podiatry Management Magazine, 9/10/10, "Hitting the Airwaves- this podiatrist uses his own radio show to promote Podiatry Podiatry Management Mag-6/-7/2010, "Figure Skating, Olympic Gold, & Podiatry Lower Extremity Review,7/2012, Pediatric Obesity weighs on Bones & Joints Numerous articles,"the sports doctor"- listed sportsdoctorradio.com- news articles 3 years of weekly radio shows, "the sports doctor", listed sportsdoctorradio.com-radio shows

Education/Credentials
BA degree science Univ. Louisville, Doctor Podiatric Medicine, Scholls College Podiatric Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Past/Present Clients
Treated many athletes in all sports, tennis- John McEnroe, Tracy Austin, numerous members of 85 Super Bowl Bears Evan Lysacek, 2010 men's Olympic Gold Medal figure skating champion.

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