Athletic Injuries, Prevention & Management

Most sports, especially of the team variety, require the body to perform a set of numerous and diverse tasks. The bodies of these athletes are required to execute quick bursts of energy, sudden directional change, as well as the ability to sustain physical contact from an array of sources such as other players, mats, boards and ice. The lower and upper extremities take a small portion of the stress incurred by physical play leaving the bulk of the force on the athlete's mid-section (abdominal region and lower back). Consequently, athletes participating in most team sports require the...Read more
The plantar fascia is a tough thick band. Its' fibrous structures help hold up the arch - from the heel to the ball of the foot. A rich, unrestricted blood supply and high degree of flexibility are essential for proper functioning. A minor tear or pull in the fascia can painfully hamper daily activities. It can mimic the pain of a stone bruise in the heel. "If heel pain is felt during the first few steps after sleep, I immediately think of a problem with the plantar fascia", says Dr William Hamilton, Orthopedic Surgeon for the NY City Ballet. Some Common Causes Over-training...Read more
Direct trauma to the male genitalia can result in an extremely painful and potentially serious injury. In most cases, the injury is similar to other soft tissue injuries with associated pain and swelling. However, severe trauma may lead to a twisting of the testes or testicular rupture, both of which require immediate medical attention. Signs and Symptoms Excruciating pain, which fortunately lasts only a few minutes. Athlete may experience nausea from the pain. On-Site Management Place Athlete in Position of Comfort. In many cases, the athlete will lie on his back and bring his knees to his...Read more
Injuries to the eye are not uncommon, but they are usually not severe since the globe (eyeball) itself is protected by surrounding bones (orbit) and the eye lids. When assessing the severity of any injury, all three aspects of the eye - the globe, orbit and eye lids - should be inspected. Contusions around the eye usually result from a direct blow which causes bleeding under the skin. If there is any suspicion of a fracture, and/or the athlete experiences blurred vision, double vision, or tunnel vision that does not clear within five minutes, the athlete should be immediately referred to a...Read more
Blisters are localized accumulations of fluid between layers of skin. They are usually caused by friction or direct pressure on the skin due to poorly fitting shoes, improper taping, and/or overuse. A "hot-spot" (warm reddened area) is the precursor to a blister. Continued friction and irritation leads to the formation of a serum-filled (clear fluid)or blood blister. Signs and Symptoms • Localized swelling, fluid underneath skin • Redness • Pain On-Site Management: Remove the irritant that is causing the blister and cover the blister with a blister pad or petroleum...Read more
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs lined with synovial membrane that are usually located in or close to joints. They function to reduce friction created by the movements of skin, tendons, and muscles over rough bony surfaces. Bursae may become inflamed as a result of excess frictional rubbing (overuse) or direct trauma or prolonged point pressure. Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of a bursa sac. As a protective mechanism, bursae swell in order to limit movements that increase both friction and subsequentRead more
Caused by a fall on the outstretched hand, a scaphoid fracture often goes unreported and unrecognized for many months after it has occurred. Wrist injuries are common and usually consist of minor sprains, strains and contusions. A "sprained" wrist should never be taken lightly and should always be considered a fracture until proven otherwise. Anatomical Details The scaphoid bone is located on the thumb side of the wrist. It can be palpated by compressing between the radius and second row of carpal bones. It is important to remember that the wrist can move in any one of six different...Read more
Shoulder separations, also known as an acromio-clavicular (or A/C) separation, usually results from a direct blow to the shoulder, a fall on an outstretched hand, or a direct blow that pushes the shoulder forward. It is a sprain or rupture of the ligaments connecting the clavicle and the acromion process. There are three grades of shoulder separations: Grade 1 involves only a slight sprain of the acromioclavicular ligaments. Grade 2 involves some ruptured and torn ligaments. Grade 3 is a complete tearing of all ligaments (with obvious deformity). A severe sprain may cause nerve and artery...Read more
Acute shoulder injuries commonly occur in contact sports. A direct blow to the front or side of the shoulder, or a hard fall on an outstretched hand may cause the clavicle (collarbone) to fracture. This is one of the most common fractures in sports. Most of these fractures in the middle of the bone, where there is less ligament support. Signs and Symptoms Pain in the front of the shoulder along the clavicle, usually focused in the middle of the bone. All arm and shoulder movements are painful. A "step" deformity can be evident. Swelling usually comes later (within 4-6 hours). The...Read more
Often incorrectly described as "shin splints", tibial stress syndrome is an overuse injury usually caused by running. The condition is characterized by pain and tenderness in the lower leg, usually along the front edge of the shin. There are many different opinions as to the specific cause of tibial stress, including: changing training techniques overuse problematic footwear the shape and structure of the leg training surface (or change in training surface). Signs and Symptoms Pain and tenderness developing along the front edge of the shin where the muscles are attached. Pain can...Read more