It's Super Bowl (injury?) time

2016 plays host to not only the most watched event in US television history, but the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl too, shortly followed by the UK's own Rugby Union Six Nations. With these sporting events in mind, we thought we'd take a look at the role orthopaedics play in contact sports - particularly orthopaedic injuries, as these are fairly inevitable in sports like these. 

What are the common injuries in contact sports?

Consultant Shoulder Surgeon Puneet Monga 

 " The most common injuries sustained in contact sports such as rugby are labral tears. 

In addition to anterior, posterior and superior labral tears one may also see rotator cuff tears, fractures, biceps tendon tears, AC joint dislocations and capsular ruptures.

The labrum is the lining of the shoulder joint socket, which provides stability to the joint. It provides attachments to various ligaments and capsule, which are responsible for soft tissue stability. Hence, damage to this Labrum predisposes players to further dislocations.

Symptoms from a torn labrum may include dislocations, “loss of confidence”, loss of strength, shoulder pain and / or loss of power. "


What is the best timing of surgery in contact sports?

Puneet Monga "The timing of surgery usually depends on the type of injury, the level of sports, the sporting calendar and rehab considerations. 

Certain injuries are of a nature which can be rehabilitated and may not need surgery; on the other hand there may be such minor injuries which can be rehabilitated temporarily to optimise the time for surgery so there is minimal loss of play.

On the other hand certain injuries like fractures and large rotator cuff tears may need early surgery. "


How can I avoid a sports injury?

Failing to warm up properly is the most common cause of injury when playing any sport. Injuries can also be due to inadequate safety precautions being taken, and the improper use of equipment. 

If you are a competitive or professional athlete than you are more likely to be injured, especially as intense training can make muscles more susceptible to injury, which is why it's important to strengthen your muscles and aim to increase flexibility. 

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