5 Most Common Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are common injuries for athletes and they can affect every part of our musculoskeletal system. There are hundreds of sports injuries out there and some can have a serious impact on the future of the athlete’s career. Read on to find out which injuries are the most common ones suffered.

Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles Tendinitis is an injury that occurs when the Achilles tendon which is located at the back of the ankle is overused. It occurs commonly in athletes who are involved in sporting activities that requires them to jump, hop or run for prolonged periods of time such as soccer, running and long jumping. Chronic Achilles Tendinitis can result in inflammation and serious pain which will result in the inability to run.

Concussion

Concussion happens when there is a direct impact to the head. This is most common in high impact sports such as rugby and soccer. Remember that incident where Petr Čech of Chelsea was knocked unconscious and had to undergo a skull fracture surgery? Concussion will result in vision disturbance and disorientation. In serious cases, they can be unconscious as seen in the case of Petr Čech. Recovery period of mild cases of concussion is often fast while serious cases can cause possible permanent damages.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears

One common knee injury is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear. The ACL is one of the 4 major knee ligaments and it provides stability and even stresses distribution across the knee. During high impact and high speed sports, the ACL can be twisted and torn when a directional change is attempted. When a patient has a torn ACL, he will not be able to walk and will require crutches to move about. Recovery from ACL tears will take at least 6 months.

Groin strains

Groin strains occur when the adductor muscles located at the upper thigh is pulled and strained. It often happens when a sudden change in direction is attempted and the muscles have no time to respond, resulting in them being pulled. This is most common in high speed sports such as soccer, rugby, basketball and volleyball.

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries include shoulder sprains, strains and dislocations. This is often seen in sports which require extensive usage of the shoulder such as swimming, badminton, volleyball and tennis. Due to overuse, the shoulder joint which is essentially a ball and socket joint becomes loose, resulting in the rotator cuff loosening. When this happens, it becomes weak and is prone to injuries and dislocations.

3 Common Procedures Performed By Orthopaedic Surgeons

Orthopaedic surgeries are surgeries that involve the musculoskeletal system including our hands, shoulders, foot and knees. It is one of the most established arm of surgery and one of the most important. At one point or another in our lives, we will definitely require orthopaedic surgery to deal with issues such as sports injuries, musculoskeletal injuries or degenerative diseases. What are some common procedures performed by orthopaedic surgeons?

Total joint replacement

Due to ageing or diseases, a healthy joint can be damaged and rendered almost useless. In order to regain the full range of motion of a good quality lifestyle, total joint replacement will need to be performed on patients using man-made materials called biomaterials. These biomaterials are biocompatible and will mimic the actions of the actual joint. However, they cannot fully replicate the functions of the original one to a full extent. Wear and tear over a period of time can cause the cartilage to wear off, causing stiffness and pain due to the lack of synovium which helps to reduce friction.

Rotator cuff repair

Rotator cuff repair is performed to repair injured or torn tendons in the shoulder. There is a group of muscles in the shoulder joint forming a cuff, resulting in the name rotator cuff. Our shoulder offers superb flexibility and range of motion but this causes the shoulder joint to be extremely unstable. A slight impact can cause the shoulder “ball” to pop out of the “socket”, resulting in a dislocation. The presence of the tendons will hold the shoulder muscles to the shoulder, preventing any accidental popping out action. Due to injuries or overuse, the tendons can become weak and will not hold as well. Surgery may be performed either as a traditional open surgery or a more modern arthroscopy depending on the extent of the tear. The surgery will fix back the tendon to the shoulder and it will be held together by self-vanishing sutures.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction

There are 4 major ligaments in our knee and one of the most important one is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is responsible for the overall stability and even surface stress distribution across the knee. It limits the rotational capability of the knee as well as prevents excessive forward motion of the tibia to the femur. The ACL is frequently torn during sporting activities involving high impact and sudden jerks. For example during rugby, the long metal studs from the boots can be still stuck in the soft grass field and an attempt to make a directional change results in the twisting of the knee, instantly tearing the ACL. ACL reconstruction is performed either by open surgery or arthroscopic.  The surgeon will remove a tendon from the hamstring and use it as a replacement for the ACL.

Above are 3 of the most common orthopaedic surgeries performed by orthopaedic surgeons worldwide. No matter what surgery you are about to undergo, we wish you a speedy recovery.

Various Locations Arthroscopy Can Be Performed At

Arthroscopy surgery actually stems from 2 Greek words, “Arthro” and “Skopein” which means to see within the joint. Arthroscopy is a pin-hole surgery that involves the surgeon making multiple small incisions in the region of interest and inserting small surgical tools, cameras and lights. The high resolution arthroscope is connected to a high definition television which will help the surgeon to see what is going on inside. Since the incisions made are much smaller than conventional open surgery, the recovery time reduces significantly and the risk of infection is much lower. With so many apparent benefits Arthroscopy has over convention open surgery, what is it not used throughout the body? What are the various locations that Arthroscopy can be performed at?

Hip

Arthroscopy can be performed on the hip to treat hip disorders. Hip arthroscopy is performed to remove cartilage from the hip region as well as repair labral tears. In some cases, it can also be done to treat early stages of hip arthritis. As the hip is a complex joint, some problems can go undetected by x-rays and MRI and are only visible under arthroscopic conditions.

Wrist

The wrist is another place that Arthroscopy can be performed at. Wrist arthroscopy surgery is used to treat problems at the wrist joint which is essentially a complex structure with many ligaments connecting to 8 small bones. With such a complex structure, it is not really advisable to perform open surgery and risk injuring the soft tissues. Arthroscopy will allow the surgeon to see and treat the problem as well as to make accurate decisions.

Ankle

The ankle is yet another common place that Arthroscopy is commonly performed on. Some frequent issues are cartilage damages which must be treated early to prevent the onset of arthritis. Arthroscopy is used to assess the damages and to repair it. Scar tissues from previous injuries can also be removed safely and precisely through Arthroscopy and that will help to reduce pain and swelling and allow a fuller range of motion.

Knee

Arthroscopic surgery is a welcomed choice for most knee surgery due to the level of complication involved. Injuries such as an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear have the option of either an open surgery or an arthroscopic one and most patients choose the latter. This is largely due to the lower risk involved and shorter downtime required post surgery.

If you have noticed, most Arthroscopic surgeries are Orthopaedic related and are performed at areas where the joints are injured. These joints are complex structures of the body and involve a higher risk than others. They are also used frequently and minimal downtime is preferred.

4 Most Common Gymnastics Injuries

Gymnastics is a full body and physically demanding sport meant for all gender. Due to its stressful and challenging nature, risk of injuries are extremely high. Although most injuries are minor ones, some can be serious and life threatening! This risk is amplified when risky stunts are attempted. I will discuss some common Gymnastics injuries in this article.

Wrist sprains

The wrist is the most heavily used part of the body in Gymnastics. With the extreme twisting speed and jumps, the force acting on the wrist can be double of that of our body’s weight. Thus, the wrist is the most prone to injuries. Wrist sprains are common and the immediate response would be to terminate all activities and get plenty of rest. The intensity of training in future would need to be toned down as the wrist will be more prone to future sprains. To protect and offer better support, a wrist brace should be worn prior to any strenuous activities.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear

ACL injuries are common and can happen if the gymnast lands in an awkward position. The ACL supports the knee and provides stability. However, it can rupture if it is twisted suddenly under high forces and that exact force is provided by an improper landing position following a stunt. A “pop” sound will be heard and this is followed by knee swelling. To prevent ACL injuries, a supportive knee brace should be worn. In addition, gymnasts should strengthen their leg muscles to better hold and support the ligaments together.

Foot injuries

Foot injuries are another type of common gymnastics injury. The more frequently occurring one is ankle sprain. Minor foot injuries only suffer from slight swelling while more serious cases will lead to severe swelling and a limit in mobility.  Wearing a protective brace is often required after foot injuries but this can hinder the flexibility of the gymnast.

Back injuries

Injuries to the back can be either a muscle strain, ligament sprain or even spinal disc disorder. Back pain will intensify based on the activity engaged and extension motions will cause the pain to increase. Back injuries are often referred to physiotherapists but they can be more serious underlying. Serious back injuries that are not easy to detect is the spinal disc disorder. The spinal discs will cushion our spine from shocks and if it is injured, the protective capabilities will be compromised.

Gymnastics is a physically demanding and challenging sport activity that is filled with lots of injury risks. There are strict requirements for the gymnast and training often starts young. Unlike most sports, injuries in gymnastics are hard to prevent due to the lack of protective equipment that are flexible and concealable.

4 Steps To Reduce Risk of ACL Injury

 

There are 4 main ligaments in our knee which gives rise to the stability. The ligaments work together to prevent excessive motion to the knee joint and prevent over stretching which might lead to injuries. The most important ligament out of the 4 is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). However, ACL injuries are also the most common ligament injury and many teenagers have had ACL reconstruction performed on them. So what are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk of ACL injury?

Before knowing how to reduce the risk of ACL injuries, you should understand how does the ACL tear. ACL tears occur due to a sudden twisting action, causing tremendous stress on the ligaments and ultimately rupturing the ACL. This is much more common in sports such as rugby, basketball and soccer which involves constant knee twisting and sudden changes in direction where the foot is still firmly rooted in the ground while the knee twists, instantly tearing the ACL.

Leg muscle strengthening

Leg muscle strengthening exercises will help to increase leg strength and lead to a more stable knee joint. A strong knee joint can help to resist sudden movement and hold the ligaments firmly in place during sudden twisting actions, reducing the risk of ACL injuries. Some excellent leg muscle strengthening exercises include hamstring curls, walking lunges and toe heel raises.

Neuromuscular training

Neuromuscular training is an excellent preventive method. It teaches the body how to obtain maximum knee stability and how the knee should move when jumping, pivoting and landing. Most injuries occur due to awkward landing on the knees, causing the ligament to twist and rupture. Scientific studies have also concluded that neuromuscular training significantly reduces the risk of ACL tears.

Knee bracing

If you have a weak knee or feel a little instability in the knee, you should use a knee brace. A good knee brace is able to make you feel like you are not wearing one, hold the knee ligaments firmly together and offer better support to the knee as a whole. There are some knee braces that are even allowed to be worn for games. Knee braces will offer better stability and provide you with more confidence.

Sufficient rest

Sufficient rest periods in-between training and games will allow the body ample of time for reconditioning and repair of the tissues. If you overstress your body, you are depriving it of repair time and sooner or later, the tissues and ligaments will break down. To speed up recovery process, some athletes consume foods that are high in protein such as chicken breast and protein shakes.

Reducing the risk of ACL injuries is as easy as 1-2-3. You only need to make a little bit of effort to buff up the muscles and don protective and supportive gears when you are playing your favourite sport.