The knee and shoulder are two joints commonly injured in sporting accidents or as a result of overuse/repetitive micro trauma. These are large and complex joints in the body and sports injuries can be of different kinds - affecting bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles and often combinations of these.
Recent statistics show that, of the million sports related injuries incurred by sportsmen and women in Australia every year, about 15% involve the knee. Other international statistics indicate over half of sports injuries involve knee damage.
Common knee injuries that occur as a result of playing sports can be classified into two types:
- those that are the result of an acute injury, that is a specific occasion when the injury occurs
- injury that occurs over time due to repeated use/overuse of the joint. Some of the knee injuries result in multi-ligament injuries which require a single stage or two staged reconstructive surgery. These are technically demanding procedures also involving significant physiotherapy input and patient motivation to achieve near-complete recovery and return to work or sport.
Similarly, shoulder injury during sport can occur as a result of an acute traumatic episode (dislocation) or due to excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as throwing, swimming, weightlifting.
The throwing athlete specifically is at risk of developing a specific set of pathologies and problems in the shoulder. Intense training and regular participation in sports like tennis, volleyball, baseball, javelin throwers may cause significant stresses on the anatomical structures that keep the humeral head centred in the socket. This can cause pain, sub-clinical instability and significant dysfunction affecting sports-performance as well as work.
Aussie Rules Football is known for its high level of body contact and injury incidence compared to sports like soccer or basketball.
Learn more about Sports injuries – visit American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website.