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Recurring Shoulder Instability Injuries Likely Among Young Athletes Playing Contact Sports

How to Minimize the Chances of Shoulder Injuries

 

Summer is a peak season for many sports, and with that comes sport-related injuries. Among those injuries is shoulder joint dislocation. According to a literature review in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most incidences of shoulder joint instability are the result of traumatic contact injuries like force or falling on an outstretched arm; a direct blow to the shoulder area; forceful throwing, lifting or hitting; or contact with another player.

By the Numbers

  • In 45 percent of shoulder joint instability injuries, young athletes lost more than 10 days from sport.
  • Young male athletes are at greatest risk of shoulder joint instability injuries and recurrences.
  • In one study, the rate of athletes reinjuring their shoulder was higher in patients younger than 23 years of age (72 percent) than patients older than 30 years of age (27 percent).
  • Young athletes between the ages of 15 to 20 years of age who were treated nonsurgically had an injury recurrence rate of 87 percent.
  • Arthritis of the shoulder occurred in up to 40 percent of athletes with recurring shoulder instability injuries.

In young athletes, traumatic anterior (front) shoulder dislocation injuries have shown high incidences of the sudden tearing of the labrum (the tissue rim surrounding the shoulder socket) and ligaments from the bone of the socket.

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