Shoulder Injury (Labral Tear)

What is it?

The labrum is a disc or cartilage within the “socket” portion of the shoulder joint, it helps provide stability for the joint by acting as a “bumper” to limit excessive motion of the humerus (the “ball”).

Causes

Falling on an outstretched arm, a forceful lifting maneuver, repetitive throwing or overhead activity.

Signs & Symptoms

Pain on top of the shoulder in the front or back, feelings of pain deep inside the joint, feelings of instability in the shoulder as though it may dislocate with certain motion.

Diagnosis

In addition to physical examination a MRI is used to confirm the diagnosis.

Hardware Removal

What is it?

Fractures are commonly fixed with plates and or screws to hold the bone in correct place. After a certain period of time, once the bone has healed, this “hardware” can be taken out.

How is it done?

As an outpatient procedure, the surgeon can remove the plates and/or screws (typically using the same incision that was made to put it in) and get you back to your activities. It is usually a much quicker recovery having the hardware removed than when it was placed. It is still a surgical procedure and therefore does require anesthesia.

When is it done?

The time that hardware can be removed varies depending on the location and type of fracture, as well as the healing process. It can also be done in the event that the hardware is causing problems, such as pain.

Torn Meniscus

What is it?

Each knee has two menisci, one on the inside (medial) and one on the outside (lateral), they fill the gap between the tibia and femur and help provide joint stability.

Causes

Acute tears usually occur while leg is in weight bearing positions, as a result of twisting injuries. Degenerative tears are more common in older people and may result from minor events.

Signs & Symptoms

Pain, swelling, and movement irregularities including catching and locking.

Diagnosis

In addition to physical examination a MRI is used to confirm the diagnosis.

ACL Injuries

What is it?

The anterior cruciate ligament connects the upper leg bone (femur) to the lower leg bone (tibia) and provides stability for the knee. The knee is prone to injury because its stability decreases as it bends. Injuries to the ACL can include strains, partial tearing, or complete rupture.

Causes

Often a result of a sports injury or twisting injury.

Signs & Symptoms

Many patients report hearing a “pop” when the ligament is injured, pain, immediate onset of swelling, and a buckling or unstable sensation in the knee.

Diagnosis

In addition to physical examination showing laxity of the knee joint, a MRI study is used to confirm the diagnosis.

Arthroscopic Surgery

What can be done?

Arthroscopic procedures can be performed on many joints including shoulder, knee, hip, wrist, and ankle. Shoulder and knee are most common and conditions treated include meniscus tears and cartilage damage to the knee and rotator cuff and labral repairs of the shoulder.

What are the advantages?

Advantages of arthroscopic surgery include small incisions and therefore less risk of infection or wound complications. Also, it can be performed as an outpatient surgery, so you do not need to stay overnight! Additionally, less soft tissue is injured allowing for quicker recovery time.

Achilles Tendinitis

What is it?

According to the Greek myth, Achilles was vulnerable only at his heel. It’s a trait that he must have passed down to all other humans when he gave his name to the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the human body and can withstand forces of 1,000 pounds or more. But it is also the most frequently ruptured tendon, and both professional and weekend athletes can suffer from Achilles tendonitis, a common overuse injury and inflammation of the tendon.

Causes

Any number of events may trigger an attack of Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Rapidly increasing your running mileage or speed g routine
  • Starting up too quickly after a layoff
  • Trauma caused by sudden and/or hard contraction of the calf muscles when putting out extra effort such as in a final sprint
  • Overuse resulting from the natural lack of flexibility in the calf muscles

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis fall into a common pattern.

  • Mild pain after exercise or running that gradually worsens
  • A noticeable sense of sluggishness in your leg
  • Episodes of diffuse or localized pain, sometimes severe, along the tendon during or a few hours after running
  • Morning tenderness about an inch and a half above the point where the Achilles tendon is attached to the heel bone
  • Stiffness that generally diminishes as the tendon warms up with use
  • Some swelling

Diagnosis

Because several conditions, such as a partial tendon tear and heel bursitis have similar symptoms, you need to see your orthopaedic surgeon for a proper diagnosis.

Osgood-Schlatters Disease

What is it?

Inflammation and swelling in the area of the upper skin/knee.

Causes

Occurs during adolescence when the tibia bone is going through a rapid growth spurt. Typically occurs when the child is involved in a lot of running and jumping activities. The tendon below the kneecap places traction on the growing bone under it causing the inflammation.

Signs & Symptoms

Tender to touch the affected area, anterior knee pain that worsens with physical activity. Visible bump on the front of the child’s knee that can be warm or painful to touch, when bumped, or kneeled on.

Diagnosis

Based on symptoms and physical examination as well as use of X-Ray to get a closer look at the growing are of bone and rule out other causes.

Tendinitis

What is it?

A tendon becomes inflamed and the action of pulling the muscle becomes irritating.

Causes

The most common cause is overuse, when individuals begin a new exercise routine or increase their level of exercise. May also be caused by aging as tendons can loose their elasticity and ability to glide as smoothly as the once did.

Signs & Symptoms

Tenderness directly over the tendon, pain with movement of muscles and tendons, swelling of the tendon.

Diagnosis

X-Rays may be used to exclude other problems, such as fractures.

Concussion

What is it?

A concussion is a brain injury that:

  • Is caused by a blow to the head or body. – From contact with another player, hitting a hard surface such as the ground, ice or floor, or being hit by a piece of equipment such as a bat, lacrosse stick or field hockey ball.
  • Can change the way your brain normally works.
  • Can range from mild to severe.
  • Presents itself differently for each athlete.
  • Can occur during practice or competition in ANY sport.
  • Can happen even if you do not lose consciousness.

Preventions

  • Do not initiate contact with your head or helmet. You can still get a concussion if you are wearing a helmet.
  • Avoid striking an opponent in the head. Undercutting, flying elbows, stepping on a head, checking an unprotected opponent, and sticks to the head all cause concussions.
  • Follow your athletics department’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
  • Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
  • Practice and perfect the skills of the sport.

Signs & Symptoms

You can’t see a concussion, but you might notice some of the symptoms right away. Other symptoms can show up hours or days after the injury. Concussion symptoms include:

  • Amnesia.
  • Confusion.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Double or fuzzy vision.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Nausea (feeling that you might vomit).
  • Feeling sluggish, foggy or groggy.
  • Feeling unusually irritable.
  • Concentration or memory problems (forgetting game plays, facts, meeting times).
  • Slowed reaction time.

Exercise or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse.

What should I do if I think I have a concussion?

Don’t hide it. Tell your athletic trainer and coach. Never ignore a blow to the head. Also, tell your athletic trainer and coach if one of your teammates might have a concussion. Sports have injury timeouts and player substitutions so that you can get checked out.

Report it. Do not return to participation in a game, practice or other activity with symptoms. The sooner you get checked out, the sooner you may be able to return to play.

Get checked out. Your team physician, athletic trainer, or health care professional can tell you if you have had a concussion and when you are cleared to return to play. A concussion can affect your ability to perform everyday activities, your reaction time, balance, sleep and classroom performance.

Take time to recover. If you have had a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have a repeat concussion. In rare cases, repeat concussions can cause permanent brain damage, and even death. Severe brain injury can change your whole life.

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