Football is Here. So Are Its Orthopedic Injuries
- Posted on: Sep 15 2019
In our blog over the hot Midland summer we covered common injuries we see throughout baseball season, commonly involving the shoulder and caused by the throwing motion. Now that it’s September and we’ve just kicked off another football season let’s turn to that oblong-shaped ball.
These are some common injuries we see at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists during football season.
We covered the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and some common injuries and surgery options in the spring. This is the number one injury we see with football players.
There are four main ligaments in the knee that keep the knee stable and allow certain movements, such as a running back planting and making a cut. The ACL is one of those four, located behind the kneecap, connecting the tibia to the femur. The ACL may be sprained or torn.
About one third of ACL injuries result from direct contact with another player. The rest occur from the forces involved with cutting, pivoting, sidestepping, or even landing awkwardly. Think of change of direction cuts.
If the ACL is sprained it will not need surgery, but rest. If it is torn, the likely treatment option is surgery. This is especially true for younger people who want to remain active. An ACL tear will not heal without surgery. Dr. Floyd and Dr. Rowland repair many torn ACLs with arthroscopic surgery.
When a player tears his or her ACL, it’s not unusual for the meniscus to tear as well. There are two menisci in each knee, one at the outside and one at the inside of the knee. These C-shaped cartilage disks help to support, stabilize, and provide cushion in the joint. Football players are at a higher risk than most other sports (about equal with soccer players). The meniscus is torn when the knee is bent and twisted, such as during a tackle.
Treatment depends on the type, size, and location of the tear. Conservative treatment will usually be the first step, but arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to remove torn pieces or provide other repair.
AC joint injuries
Not all football players get knee injuries. Shoulder injuries make up the fourth most common football injury, especially the acromioclavicular joint, or AC joint. This is the joint where the shoulder blade meets the collarbone. If the bones making up the AC joint are injured, it is considered an AC separation. If the upper arm pops out of the shoulder socket, this is a dislocated shoulder. AC joint injuries often are a result of a player being tackled and landing on the outside of the shoulder, especially if the tackling player lands atop.
Most AC separations can be effectively managed without the need for surgery. These treatments will include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy.
If your football player needs orthopedic help this season, Urgent Orthpedic Specialists is the place to turn. Call us at (432) 520-3020 to make an appointment.
Posted in: ACL Surgery