If you or your child plays sports, chances are an injury will occur whether you are playing the game for fun in the backyard or competitively on a team. While exercising is great for your health, playing sports regulary increases the chance for an injury, which can range from minor to very serious. In 2010, there were 671,000 inpatient procedures to reduce fracture injuries. Other common injuries in sports medicine include:
- Knee Injuries
- Shin Splints
- Shoulder Dislocations
- Strains and Sprains
In 2006, about 7.5 million people went to the doctor’s office to be seen for a shoulder problem, which included shoulder and upper arm strains and sprains. Furthermore, Shoulder injuries are the fifth most common injury among high school athletes. A shoulder dislocation is a common injury that is caused by the head of the upper arm bone being forced partially or all of the way out of the socket, depending on the severity of the dislocation. The more out of the socket the shoulder is, the more serious the dislocation. Common symptoms of a shoulder dislocation include: swelling, loss of movement, weakness, pain while reaching, pain that worsens at night, and pain in the shoulder.
Another common shoulder injury sports medicine sees often has to do with the rotator cuff. A tear in the rotator cuff happens when the muscles or tendons over the shoulder joint tear from overuse over the years. This condition may need surgery by an orthopedic surgeon. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include: surgery, steroid injection, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and a sling.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is another serious injury that is commonly seen in sports medicine. The ACL is a ligament in the knee joint that stabilizes the knee. If this tears, an ACL repair is necessary. ACL surgery takes a ligament from another area as your body, such as a tendon from the hamstring, and replaces the ACL tear in your knee. Complete recovery from ACL reconstruction can take anywhere from four to six months, depending on how your body heals.
Tips to Prevent Injuries
When playing sports, make sure to take enough time to warm up and cool down. Flexibility can also decrease the prevalence of injuries in all types of sports. Wear the proper protective equipment for the sport you are playing. It is also important to use the proper techniques so as not to cause extra strain on the body. In addition, make sure you have a rest day to let your body fully recover and can get ready for the next week of sports.