Sports Medicine & FAQ

I am actively engaged in Sports Medicine both at the patient level and the Team medical management level. I have, for many years treated sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder while also evaluating and managing sports-related conditions more generally.

I am the Team Orthopedic Surgeon for Brigham Young University and have functioned in that capacity for the past 22 years. Prior to that I played a similar role at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I was a team physician for the US Ski Team for 10 years and served as a medical officer for the Los Angeles Olympic games.

In addition to being Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and an Active Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons I earned a Certificate of Added Qualification in Orthopedic Sports Medicine.

Sports Medicine FAQ

Dr. Kimball specializes in the knee, shoulder and sports related conditions. He has an added certificate to be more trained and certified in the Medical and Surgical management of sports related injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that Dr. Kimball has been asked:
Fall on Knee

In May of 2001 I was roller-blading and fell right on my knee. I went to my doctor and he said there was nothing wrong with it. But still in September I have very little feeling in it and there is still fluid on it. I can’t even kneel on my knee without pains shooting down my leg. What should I do?

There are several problems that you may have after falling directly on your kneecap (patella). From the description of fluid on the knee and difficulty kneeling, the most likely problem is chondromalacia of the patella. This is a condition where the cartilage on the undersurface of the patella is damaged and softened from the fall. It can be very painful and sometimes difficult to treat. The first course of treatment is a strengthening and conditioning program. I would recommend that you seek help from an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist with an interest in

Painful Heel

I have been experiencing heel pain for several months; an x-ray confirmed a bone spur on the bottom of my heel. I have been treated with orthotics anti-inflammatory and injections of cortisone. What other treatments are being used?

It sounds as though you may have plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain. The tough tendinous structures on the bottom of the foot become inflamed at their insertion into the heel bone (calcaneus). The bone spur you describe usually plays no role in the process. All of the treatments you have received are good measures in a complete program to try and relieve the pain. However, all of these must be accompanied by a good stretching and physical therapy regimen. In fact the only part of the program that is essential is the physical therapy and stretching. The rest are solely to help speed the recovery. I recommend you start on calf stretching exercises and seek help from a physical therapist with an interest in foot and ankle problems. Unfortunately, even with all of these attempts, plantar fasciitis can be a very nagging problem that takes months to resolve. There are multiple causes of heel pain. If none of this helps, it is possible you have one of the less common causes. Your orthopedic surgeon should be able to help you determine this.

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Repeated Ankle Sprains

Is it common for sprains to bruise? I have had several ankle sprains but this is the first time it has ever bruised, (all along the outside of my foot and across the top).

A sprain is caused by an injury that results in either a stretching or tearing of a ligament. As the ligament tears, so do small blood vessels that feed the ligament. The more severe the sprain, the more bleeding and swelling that occurs. The blood then travels down dependent tissue planes (gravity assisted) and deposits in the areas of least resistance. In lateral ankle sprains, which are the most frequent, it is very common that one develops bruising (ecchymosis) along the side of the heel and foot. However, diffuse bruising and swelling may be indicative of a more severe injury than just a simple ankle sprain and should be looked at by a musculoskeletal specialist.

Shin splints

My son is a 15yr old soccer player, who recently tried out to become a member of the High School team. He previously played soccer. He developed such severe shin splints and ankle/foot pain that he couldn’t run. I gave him Advil and ice before he ran. What causes shin splints and what can I do to help prevent this painful condition?

Shin splints can be a very painful and activity-restricting condition. The two biggest theories about the cause are swelling in the anterior muscle compartment of the leg, and avulsion of the small fibrous attachments of the muscle to the shin bone. While some research has been done in this field, there is no conclusive evidence that one or the other is the sole cause. What is known is that poor conditioning or strength to these muscles puts someone at greater risk of developing shin splints. Someone who does relatively little running and all the sudden starts running a couple of miles a day in practices are prone to develop this condition. I would recommend that your son start on a strength and conditioning program for his legs that includes cycling and moderate running. Make certain that he has good athletic shoes with good arch support. As always, if this condition does not improve, I recommend he see an orthopedic surgeon who has an interest in athletic injuries.

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