Chances are you’ll be joining your friends or family in at least one backyard game of football at this time of year. At NY Bone and Joint, we see the most injuries from our collegiate and amateur football players. It is the number one injury causing sport and players will most commonly damage their knees through high impact collisions. Shoulder injuries are the second most common football injury, also occurring because of trauma.
Football players often come in with a variety of knee injuries. Most commonly, trauma to the knee will cause a tear in the ACL or PCL. These are ligaments in the knee joint that help to hold the tibia and femur together. Tearing these ligaments is often debilitating because they are crucial to keeping the knee joint stable. However with more sophisticated methods of sports medicine and arthroscopic knee surgery, athletes will find recovering from these injuries much easier. Along with ACL or PCL, we will often find a meniscus tear. The menisci are two C shaped pieces of cartilage that line the front and back of the knee joint, providing cushion. If a part of the cartilage has torn it can usually be treated with conservative methods, but severe damage may also require arthroscopic knee surgery.
Shoulders are also a common football injury because athletes may collide with one another or the ground with their shoulder first. Shoulder dislocations and AC separations are fairly common. A shoulder dislocation needs to be reduced immediately. Once the ball of the shoulder joint is back in its socket, sports rehabilitation is definitely necessary. The shoulder will be more likely to dislocate in the future due to damage done to the surrounding tissues as it’s pulled out of the socket. An AC separation occurs when the ligament that connects the collar bone to the shoulder blade tears. You’ll often see that this causes the collar bone to protrude. AC separations occur at different grades of severity, depending on how many tears the connective ligaments undergo. AC separations almost always require surgery and a strict sport rehab program should be followed after to regain range of motion in the shoulder.
Dr. Leon Popovitz and Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, along with their team of best-in-class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best-rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. This, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, leads to athletes of all levels returning to their top physical potential. Contact us today to schedule a consult!