When you are a sportsperson, you will have multiple and various kinds of injuries over your lifetime. Sports injuries can happen to all types of sports players, and most of the injuries happen when specific muscles, bone tissues, or a set of muscles, bone tissues, and tendons in specific body parts are overused. For footballers, it can be a leg; for baseballers, it can be a hand; and so on.
However, everyone who engages in sports should expect injuries to happen to them at any time. It can happen at the most unexpected times that you will have a sprain or fracture. Among sports injuries, orthopedic sports injuries are one of the many categories.
What Are Orthopedic Sports Injuries?
Orthopedic sports injuries are injuries that happen to muscles or bones when you are engaged in any sports activity. You are prone to a wide range of injuries, and among them, some might be minor ones and some others might be major ones. Let’s see what some of the most common orthopedic sports injuries are:
Most Common Orthopedic Sports Injuries
🔸 Groin Strain
Groin strain happens when your groin muscles, the muscles that connect the thigh bone and the pelvis, get overstretched. The role of these muscles in your leg movements is crucial, as they support bringing legs closer to each other and also raising them towards the middle of the knee. A groin strain is often referred to as a groin pull, too.
It can also happen when the groin muscles get torn. Groin strains can be mild or severe. When you have a groin strain, you will feel staggering pain and tenderness when you try to squeeze the legs together. You will have to rest for 2 weeks or more.
🔸 Tennis Elbow
It is called so because it generally happens to people who spend a lot of time playing tennis. It can also happen to golfers, so it is also called a golfer’s elbow. Generally, this condition can happen to anyone who is engaged in sports activities that require frequent elbow or forearm movements.
When you have this condition, you will be able to see swelling in the tendons of the elbow. Pain might also be experienced in the forearm and upper arm. You can also have this when your elbow gets knocked or banged on a hard surface. It might take 6 months to 2 years to make a complete recovery from the condition.
🔸 Shoulder Injury
Shoulder injuries can result from various sports activities. The most common shoulder injuries possible from sports are shoulder dislocations, shoulder sprains, and ligament or cartilage tears. This can happen when your shoulders are in continuous motion and also commonly happens when colliding with another player or even a heavy fall to the ground.
Shoulder dislocation is one of the most common shoulder injuries that happen when the bone of the upper arm gets dislocated from the cup-shaped socket of the shoulder blade that it is supposed to be in. You will feel extreme pain in your shoulders when this dislocation happens.
Most times, it might be visible as the shoulder will be out of place. There will be swelling, discoloration, bruising, muscle spasms, and a feeling of numbness or weakness in the arm, hand, and even fingers. If you suspect a shoulder dislocation, you have to rush to a doctor as soon as possible. Usually, it can take up to 12 weeks to completely recover.
🔸 ACL Tear or Strain
ACL Tears or strains have the highest probability of happening to those who engage in sports that require a lot of running and sudden movements, like those in contact sports. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is the one that connects the bones present in the knee.
ACL strain occurs when these ligaments are overstretched. Although an ACL tear is much more serious as it refers to partial or complete tearing of the ACL, The latter may require surgical procedures to recover from. It can take up to nine months or more to fully heal.
🔸 Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains happen mainly when the ankle twists or turns in a direction that it is not supposed to. This might cause the ligaments that hold the bones together to tear or become overstretched. Soccer, basketball, tennis, or other sports that require jumps or movements through uneven surfaces can result in this.
When you have an ankle sprain, you will not be able to put weight on the foot, stand properly, or walk, and you will feel pain and tenderness, and inflammation will be visible on the skin. The time taken for recovery from an ankle sprain will be based on the degree of the sprain.
🔸 Hamstring Injury
The hamstrings are a group of muscles that are present in the back part of the thigh. Common hamstring injuries involve overstretched hamstrings, but sometimes the muscles might get torn. The tendons associated with the hamstrings getting injured are also considered hamstring injuries.
When this happens, you might be able to hear a sudden ‘pop’ sound and an immediate pain in the back of the thigh. These injuries usually last for about eight weeks.
Fractures are bound to happen to anyone in any kind of sport. It can be defined as a break or crack in the bone. It can happen due to repetitive movements and often happens in contact sports such as football, boxing, or ice hockey.
The most common fractures happen to the collarbone, foot, wrist, ankle, and hand. You might experience mild or severe pain based on the type of fracture that you have. There are simple fractures when the bone is broken but stays inside the skin, and a compound fracture is when the bone breaks and comes out of the skin. You will be subjected to even complete bed rest depending on what fracture you have. It might take a while to recover completely.
Sciatica is a condition in which nerve pain originates in the lower spine and can radiate through the legs. It can happen to anyone, but when it comes to sports, the reason for sciatica can be an acute injury. You will feel pain in the hips, either one or both of the legs and also in the lower back area.
It can be because of nerve compression due to any injury or inflammation caused by these injuries. Sports that require a lot of forward bending and twisting may or may not result in sciatica. This can get healed within 2 weeks, 6 weeks, or longer than that.
🔸 Patellofemoral Syndrome
It affects the patella, the term used to medically refer to the kneecap. When you have this, there will be pain in the front part of the knee cap, which will sharpen and worsen with time. You might get a draining pain all of a sudden too.
It often happens to those who have a lot of running and jumping to do, and it is seen as a common athlete’s injury. When you have this, you will have to take a complete break from running, jumping, and all such activities to fully recover. Many advise strength training and physiotherapy.
🔸 Shin Splints
Shin splints are caused by swelling of muscles or bone tissues around the tibia, or shinbone, the largest bone of the lower leg. Runners, football players, or people who frequently use their legs for fast movements are the ones who will most likely have shin splints.
If you have this, you will have pain just below the knees, in the front of the leg. It can happen due to the continuous strain that the legs are subjected to. You will be able to get relief from the pain for around 4 weeks, although it can take 6 months to completely recover from the condition.
These are the 10 most common orthopedic sports injuries that can affect a sportsperson. Some of the injuries might affect people who play specific sports, while others are common and can happen to anyone. You have to take notice of the symptoms and signs that your body shows and not avoid any of them, even the minor ones.
Most of the time, you will be in pain, and the injuries might be visible to your eyes, but sometimes they might not be. Therefore, if you feel discomfort when engaging in sports or any other physical activity, consult a doctor.
Q: What are the most common orthopedic sports surgeries?
Ans: The most common orthopedic sports procedures are fracture treatment, arthroscopy, and joint replacement therapy.
Q: Is a dislocated shoulder treatable?
Ans: Yes, it can be treated with the help of a sports medicine professional, and sometimes you will have to undergo a surgical procedure.
Q: Can tennis elbow heal naturally?
Ans: It is advised to get help from a medical professional. You can take a break from the post-activity activities until you are back to health.
Q: Is a sprained ankle serious?
Ans: If you do not get the proper treatment at the right time, it can weaken your ankles and cause chronic pain.
Q: Can I run with shin splints?
Ans: You are not to run when you have shin splints and go on relative rest.