Shoulder injuries in young athletes
Shoulder injuries abound, especially in the young athlete. One of the most common injuries seen in this population is shoulder dislocation or instability. In an article in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons a literature review reported that most incidences of shoulder joint instability are the results of traumatic contact injuries like falling on an outstretched arm or force from a hit or direct blow to the shoulder area, or from forceful throwing, lifting or hitting; or from contact with another player.
Most athletes do not want to be out of their sport with a shoulder injury. They are looking to get back in the game quickly. Interesting facts reported on in this article: 45% of shoulder joint instability injuries resulted in more than 10 days lost from sport. Young male athletes were at the greatest risk of instability injuries and reinjuries. One study reported that younger athletes (under 23 years of age) reinjured their shoulders in 72% of cases, where older patients (over 30 years of age) only 27% of the time.
What we found extremely interesting was that young athletes between the ages of 15-20 years of age who were treated non-surgically experienced an injury recurrence rate of 87%! Arthritis of the shoulder resulted in 40% of athletes with recurring should instability injuries.
These shoulder injuries commonly resulted in high incidences of sudden tearing of the labrum (which is the tissue around the shoulder socket) and the ligaments from the bone of the socket.
Symptoms of shoulder joint dislocation: pain that is often severe, swelling, bruising, instability, weakness, inability to move the shoulder, and even numbness and tingling around the shoulder or in the arm or fingers.
Traditional non-surgical treatment options: The typical non-surgical treatment options mentioned in this study include shoulder immobilization and rehabilitation (physiotherapy), as well as instructing the patients to wear motion-restricted braces or sleeves that prevent overhead motion (but these limit function and ability to play their sports).
Traditional surgical treatment options: This report states that recurrent should joint instability or an inability to safely perform sport despite rehabilitation means that surgical management options need to be considered. They suggest early surgical stabilization to return to athlete to his/her sport in 6-9 months! They state that athletes with bone loss, recurrent instability, and an instability that results at the end of the season, make the athletes candidates for surgical stabilization surgery.
Alternative treatment option for shoulder instability: Shoulder instability involves a temporary or partial dislocation of the shoulder joint. In order to correct the instability, the underlying problem – ligament laxity – must be treated. In our opinion, shoulder subluxation or instability is one of the easiest conditions to treat with Prolotherapy. It is the safest, most effective healing treatment for repairing ligament, tendon, cartilage, and labrum damage. Simply put, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It induces a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened area, thus stimulating the body to heal these injured areas. The typical shoulder patient requires 3-6 visits given at monthly intervals. Young athletes may receive stronger Prolotherapy solutions that contain other additives such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), their own stem cells, or other additives to help accelerate healing and get the athlete back to their sport more quickly. Because young athletes have high hormone levels, they typically respond very quickly and often require fewer treatments.
If you or a loved one has been put on the side-lines with a shoulder injury, consider Prolotherapy to regenerate the injury and get you back in the game!