Surgery to correct shoulder injuries from sports is a common and effective treatment for many. New research shows, however, that nonoperative treatments (without surgery) for such injuries in teens may prove more successful, especially if they’re planning to return to an athletic activity.
The AOSSM conducted a recent study on anterior shoulder instability in teens involved in high school sports with a first-time shoulder injury and who also intended to return to play following recovery.
Key results revealed that 57% of patients treated nonoperatively achieved a full recovery and were able to complete the following sports season without missing any practice or playing time.
Nonoperative treatment methods included sufficient rest from activity, frequent icing, and anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone injections as needed for pain. Physical therapy was also administered to regain mobility and function in the weakened muscles.
Shoulder instability occurs when the joint’s muscles or ligaments become overstretched or weak, potentially leading to a more serious issue like a shoulder dislocation when the bones can painfully slip out of the socket.
It’s particularly common right now as basketball season winds down and spring sports like baseball are starting up–with heavy demands on both the arm and shoulder.
In rare cases, when surgery is necessary to repair the shoulder, it is typically performed arthroscopically with tiny instruments inserted via a very small incision.
If you have concerns about your teenager and a sports-related shoulder injury, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.
(Courtesy of AOSSM-American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine)