The musculoskeletal system is made up of a pretty substantial number of joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. These structures are all susceptible to injury, especially during sports. Patients sometimes as us if we see some injuries more often than others. We do, and we think it can be beneficial for people to know the common injuries that may occur and how they happen. To make this fun, we’ll count down from ten to the number one common orthopedic injury.
#10 – Meniscus tear. There are two pieces of cartilage that act as shock absorbers in the knee: the medial and the lateral meniscus. Either one or both may be injured by direct trauma, slipping or falling, or awkward foot placement.
#9 – Carpal tunnel. A person doesn’t usually get carpal tunnel from sports but from any repetitive motion of the hands and fingers. Several nerves pass through the carpal tunnel in the wrist on their way to the hand. Inflammation in this tunnel of bones presses on the nerves causing symptoms like numbness and tingling.
#8 – Rotator cuff injury. The rotator cuff in the shoulder is responsible for a multitude of motions. Excessive force or use, such as throwing a baseball, can stress the rotator cuff to the point of tearing.
#7 – Plantar fasciitis. Pain that occurs on or right in front of the heel and toward the arch of the foot may relate to an injured or stressed and inflamed plantar fascia ligament. Usually, this injury relates to bad footwear and overuse.
#6 – ACL tear. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is in the knee. An abrupt twist or turn with the foot planted on the ground could cause mild to severe damage to this part of the knee joint.
#5 – Tennis elbow. You don’t have to play tennis to develop tennis elbow, a type of tendonitis that localizes in the elbow joint. Golfers are also commonly affected by this type of painful inflammation.
#4 – Ankle and foot injuries. The ligaments in the ankle and foot are fibrous connective tissue that may stretch or even tear. It is estimated that over 2 million ankle sprains occur each year.
#3 – Stress fracture. Stress fractures commonly occur in the foot or ankle. A fracture may be very slight but still indicates that a bone has broken and needs repair.
#2 – Dislocated shoulder. The shoulder joint may degrade somewhat with overuse, making it more susceptible for complete dislocation of the upper bone of the arm from the shoulder joint. Sometimes, a dislocated shoulder will immediately “go back in.” However, once a shoulder dislocates, it is more prone to do it again.
#1 - Wrist fracture. Across the country, orthopedic specialists tend to see more wrist fractures than other types of injury. This could be because any person of any age is very likely to extend their hand to brace an unexpected fall.
Proper sports gear and protective practices can decrease the risk of injury, but not eliminate it altogether. If you have suffered an injury, turn to the experts. Call Advanced Orthopedics and Hand Surgery Institute in New Jersey at (973) 942-1315.