The Most Common Sports Injuries by Season
There’s a sport for every season – and an injury for every sport.
Every year, an estimated 2 million sports injuries result in approximately 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations. And that’s not even counting professional athletes, adult weekend warriors and other sports enthusiasts prone to injuries!
As long as sports involve vigorous physical activity and contact, common injuries will occur. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries for some of the most common sports by season.
Most Common Injuries for Fall and Winter Sports
Football is one of America’s most popular sports, both as a spectator and a participant. Perhaps the ultimate contact sport, it can take quite a toll on a player’s body. Much has been debated recently about head injuries and concussions. However, traumatic knee and ankle injuries are extremely common on the gridiron.
Ice hockey can be just as brutal on the upper body. Whether slamming against headboards, falling on the ice, or getting into fistfights with opposing players – and despite the use of protective padding – hockey players frequently sustain shoulder, wrist, dental and head injuries. Shoulder injuries often include broken clavicles and acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation, while wrist injuries usually include sprains and fractures.
Most Common Injuries for Spring and Summer Sports
Although baseball and softball are not considered contact sports, they do involve a lot of running, throwing, catching, and pivoting, all of which can result in knee, leg, arms, and shoulder joint problems. For example, a baseball pitcher who specializes in fast balls can suffer a rotator cuff injury, tearing shoulder tendon tissue. Other players may suffer hamstring muscle injuries, sprained ankles or shin splints run around the bases or on the field. And who can deny that sliding into home – or another player for that matter – doesn’t classify as contact?
Many of the same leg injuries occur during soccer games, affecting adolescent players as well as adult athletes. You can add Jones fractures (of the bone on the outside side of the foot beneath the little toe) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, which is the ligament in the center of the knee, to the list. Plus, heading the ball over time puts an athlete at risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in those who have a history of repetitive brain trauma.
With swimming, injuries tend to result from the overuse of one’s joints and muscles. Shoulder injuries are common, as is breaststroker’s knee, which can become painfully inflamed.
Year-round indoor/outdoor sports like basketball and volley tend to create frequent cases of meniscus tears. This is a common “court” injury in which forceful twisting results in the tearing of certain knee tissue. Jumping to slam dunk a basket, block a shot, snatch a rebound can lead to patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee), in which the tendon attaching the kneecap to the shinbone can be torn.
Meanwhile, a heated game of tennis can result in any number of injuries including ankle sprains, rotator cuff tears, stress fractures, and – yes – tennis elbow, the inflammation of the tendons joining the forearm muscles to outside of the elbow.
Whatever the season, there is the risk of injury while participating in your favorite sport. If or when it happens, it’s important that you get the proper and prompt medical attention of a specialist trained in sports medicine.
The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions including sports injuries. We look to non-invasive methods first before resorting to surgery. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.