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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall Sports: Staying Active While Being Safe for the Season

Post provided by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Summer is coming to an end, and it won't be long before athletes and sports enthusiasts take to the field to play soccer, football, volleyball or some other fall sport.

Staying active is ideal for building strong bones and weight-bearing activities such as running and playing sports helps achieve that. That is why the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign is urging everyone to stay active, but to keep safety first when engaging in these activities.

Statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) show the following results for individuals treated in emergency rooms and doctors' offices in the U.S. during 2011:
  • More than 581,400 treated for injuries related to soccer.
  • Approximately 1.2 million sustained football-related injuries.
  • More than 170,600 for injuries related to volleyball.
"Not all injuries can be prevented, however many can be avoided," said orthopaedic suregeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson Jeffrey Abrams, MD. "The fact is, when one decides to participate in a sport, he or she needs to consider everything that comes with the territory. That includes taking the responsibility to follow proper safety measures such as warming up, and completing a health and wellness evaluation to determine their ability to play in the game before each season."

This season, the AAOS, AOSSM and the STOP Sports Injuries campaign recommend taking the following safety tips into consideration:
  • Play multiple positions and/or sports during the off-season to minimize overuse injuries.
  • Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching. A good stretch involves not going beyond the point of resistance and should be held for 10-12 seconds.
  • Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramps. Waiting until you are thirsty is often too late to hydrate properly.
  • Don't play through the pain. Speak with an orthopaedic sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries or tips on injury prevention.
  • Avoid the pressure that is now exerted on many young athletes to overtrain. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury and help avoid "burn-out."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Recurring Shoulder Instability Injuries Likely Among Young Athletes Playing Contact Sports

Post provided by The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Summer is a peak season for many sports, and with that comes sport-related injuries. Among those injuries is shoulder joint dislocation. According to a literature review in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most incidences of shoulder joint instability are the result of traumatic contact injuries like force or falling on an outstretched arm; a direct blow to the shoulder area; forceful throwing, lifting or hitting; or contact with another player.
  • In 45 percent of shoulder joint instability injuries, young athletes lost more than 10 days from sport.
  • Young male athletes are at greatest risk of shoulder joint instability injuries and recurrences.
  • In one study, the rate of athletes reinjuring their shoulder was higher in patients younger than 23 years of age.
  • Young athletes between the ages of 15 to 20 years of age who were treated nonsurgically had an injury recurrence rate of 87 percent.
  • Arthritis of the shoulder occurred in up to 40 percent of athletes with recurring shoulder instability injuries.
Symptoms of shoulder joint dislocation include: pain, often severe; instability and weakness in the shoulder area; inability to move the shoulder; swelling; bruising; abnormal contouring of the shoulder; and numbness and tingling around the shoulder or in the arm or fingers.

Nonsurgical management includes:
  • Brief shoulder immobilization and early rehabilitation.
  • Motion-restricting braces or sleeves that prevent extreme overhead motion may be helpful in preventing recurring injuries among nonthrowing athletes, but can potentially limit function and level of play.
  • Although rehabilitation may help some athletes return to sport within three weeks after an initial injury, there is a greater risk of shoulder joint instability recurring with early return to sport.
Surgical management includes:
  • Recurrent shoulder joint instability or an inability to safely perform sport-specific drills despite rehabilitation, activity modification, or bracing are indications that surgical management options need to be considered.
  • Early surgical stabilization removes the athlete from the competitive season and typically with unrestricted return to sport in six to nine months.
  • Athletes with bone loss, recurrent instability, an instability event that occurs at the end of the season, or an inability to perform sport-specific drills are candidates for surgical stabilization.
Minimize the chances of shoulder dislocation:
  • Strength- the shoulder relies on strong tendons and muscles to keep it stable. Keeping these muscles strong can relieve shoulder pain and prevent further injury.
  • Flexibility- stretching the shoulder muscles is important for restoring range of motion and preventing injury. Gently stretching after strenghening exercises can help reduce muslce soreness and keep muscles long and flexible.