Sports are an important aspect of human lives. As the younger (and older) generation engages in active lifestyle to stay fit and healthy, they increase their chances of sustaining injury in the process.
Shoulder is one such joint prone to injury especially in sports involving prolonged use of arm above the shoulder level like racquet sports, throwing (cricket, basketball), swimmers, wrestling (contact sports).
Poor muscle flexibility, improper training and bad posture can lead to a painful shoulder, which may further lead to neck problems; and by the time athlete seeks medical help, all attention goes to the neck complaints while the main culprit gets no focus.
Shoulder is inherently an unstable joint which affords a versatile range of movements at the cost of stability. A shoulder dislocation, where the ball comes out of the joint socket, is a very serious injury, which can be career ending for an athlete. After sustaining a fall on outstrecthed hand, the athlete will experience immediate severe pain around the shoulder area with inability to move his shoulder. This injury requires immediate reduction of the joint by a trained orthopaedic sports doctor followed by painkillers and rest to the injured part.
In young age group athletes, there is a very high chance that the joint may come out again during overhead activities (while putting on a shirt, holding a handrail in public transport, leaning back in carseat to grab something from the back). As the number of dislocations increase, the complexity of the surgical procedure also rises. Hence, an early surgical stabilisation of the joint is desirable to prevent subsequent dislocations and get the athlete back to his normal routine.
Although, open surgeries were performed previously to treat such injuries leading to unsightly scars, stiffness, infection. Presently, the techniques have advanced to key hole arthroscopic surgeries where there are no scars, less pain, better quality of life.
Dr Mukul Kaushal
MBBS, MS, DNB (Ortho)