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Common Summer Orthopedic Injuries

Summer is the time to get out to enjoy the weather and get active as the days are longer and the light lasts longer. Are you ready?

There are lots of opportunities for accidents and injuries. Overuse injuries and trauma to a joint are the most common types of injuries. We haul out our bikes, volleyballs, tennis and pickleball racquets and basketballs. Running, hiking and other fav activities require warm up and conditioning. While is a great time to enjoy these activities, here are some of the most common injuries and how to avoid them.

Did you know? Injuries that occur while using an electric scooter are a new epidemic in orthopedics affecting people (mostly men) in their thirties! Most injuries occur during a fall that results in fractures of the arms sending many to the ER. Studies report that 50% of these fractures require surgery! The other serious risk is a head or facial injury. Wear that helmet! Pediatric orthopedic injuries also increase in warm temperatures.

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries are common in the summer due to sports like swimming and tennis. Shoulder dislocations, strains and sprains from beach volleyball, overused rotator cuffs and tennis and golf elbow (tendinitis) are some of the common injuries.

Dont forget yard work! Digging and planting, reaching, and pulling can result in muscle strains and shoulder pains. Heavy lifting bags of topsoil can lead to tendonitis or pinch a nerve in the shoulder. Pain, swelling, muscle cramps, decreased mobility occur in part due to a failure to perform strength training, warm up and stretch before any new activity.

Knee injuries

The knee is complex and prone to injury. ACL tears are very common in contact sports and high energy cardio activities.  Golf, which is a low impact sport, can create a risk of injury to the knees, hips, and low back. In fact, knee injuries are almost as common as low back injuries in golf. Why? Because the force placed on the knee with a golf swing is greater than from jogging! What can you do? Prepare with a fitness routine and good technique and dont play through the pain.

Ankle injuries

The most common outdoor ankle injuries are ankle sprains (ligament sprains) and fractures. 50% of which happen during sports activities.  Muscle and tendon strains are common. Running and jumping sports are the usual source of ankle injuries.

Hips

Hip bursitis, a pulled muscle and snapping hip are common causes of discomfort. Groin pulls, hamstring strains can develop from vigorous hip rotations. Stress fractures of the thigh bone are found in runners.

Stress fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bone that develop when there is excess stress or weight on the bone. Any vigorous activity involving sports like running can cause shin splints. They can also be caused by wearing old worn-out shoes. Proper shoes can keep your feet healthy. Check your form to avoid injuries.

Strains and sprains

A sprain is a ligament injury, with an ankle sprain being the most common sports injury. Other commonly sprained joints are the knees and wrists.

A strain is a muscle or tendon injury including partial and minor stretch injuries to larger tears or ruptures. Common strains are hamstrings and groin-hip-leg muscle strains, which often occur during sprinting, changing direction, or rapid leg movement like kicking a ball.

General tips

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration can add friction in the joints.
  • Stay physically fit not just sports fit.
  • Over exertion creates fatigue and sets you up for injury.
  • When you sprain or strain try conservative management with rest, icing, compression and elevation, activity modification and hot and cold therapy. If pain persists, call us.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Take time to warm up and cool down.

Enjoy your summer! When you need us, we are here to help. Contact Orthopedic Associates of Northern California to schedule a consultation.

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