10 Sports Injuries with Lifelong Consequences | Health Plus

You have probably heard or read about major athletes quitting their elite careers midway as a result of sustaining injuries. You might have thought to yourself, what a pity it is for someone so talented in a sport to be forced to leave the field. Truth is, many young athletes may be well on their way to sabotaging their own bodies (and potential sports career) by neglecting their body’s needs.

Here's how 10 injuries you sustain now can have a long-term effect on your life.

Sprain

A sprain happens as a result of stress to the ligaments or joints. It is one of the most common sports-related injuries. If you’ve suffered a sprain injury before, you would know that the less serious ones naturally ‘heal’ over time, so it is unsurprising that many of us may think lightly of a sprain injury.

However, you’re advised to use a brace for proper healing. Those who have suffered a severe sprain in the past are susceptible to new sprains in the same spot. Most notably, one of the risk factors of a sprained ankle is having ankle instability. More severe cases require prolonged bracing and a possibility of surgery to repair ligaments.

Hamstring strain

The hamstrings are tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to the thigh bone. Hamstring strains are typically caused by rapid acceleration activities – activities that require you to pick up speed in a short period of time. Injuries can range from a minor strain to a major rupture. In the long run, continuous hamstring injuries can affect your mobility and your flexibility. If you continually hurt your hamstrings doing something such as sprinting or jumping, you need to take steps to prevent a recurrent injury.

Hamstring strains are one injury where professional guidance is highly recommended for both an accurate diagnosis and a good chance of avoiding repeat hamstring injuries.

Stress fractures

It could range from a tiny crack in the bone to severe bruising within the bone. Stress fractures occur in weight-bearing areas, like the heels of our feet or our wrists, where we subconsciously place pressure on to support our movements. Sports science research confirms that approximately 60% of all athletes who have sustained a single stress fracture will later sustain at least one other. Stress fractures that aren’t properly managed can lead to larger, harder-to heal stress fractures, or even chronic problems where the fracture never heals. That means constant discomfort and limited movement of the area where the stress fracture has occurred.

ACL Injury

An anterior cruciate ligament injury is the over-stretching or tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. A tear may be partial or complete. It is most commonly torn in sports that involve sudden stops, jumping or changes in direction — such as basketball, soccer, football, tennis, downhill skiing, volleyball and gymnastics. Depending on the severity of your ACL injury, treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help you regain strength and stability or surgery to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. However, athletes who undergo surgical replacement of the ligament are at risk of undergoing a 2nd surgery later on. Repeated surgeries means you may never recover the original strength or condition of the ligament in your knee, making your chance of repeated injuries high.­

Patella dislocation

Also known as a kneecap dislocation, a patella dislocation occurs when the kneecap comes out of its normal position. It may reduce spontaneously and return to its proper place on its own. This form of injury is common in sports that involve spontaneous or sudden change in direction (eg. badminton and tennis). It puts an immense amount of stress on the knees to support your weight as you switch direction. As with most injuries, kneecap dislocation leaves you in pain and you’ll experience temporary inability to walk. Repeated dislocations, however, can make that a permanence.

Meniscus tear

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). There are 2 menisci in each knee joint. They can be damaged or torn during activities that put pressure on or rotate the knee joint. When a meniscus tear occurs, you may hear a popping sound around your knee joint. You may also experience a slipping or popping sensation, which is usually an indication that a piece of cartilage has become loose and is blocking the knee joint. The constant rubbing of the torn meniscus on the articular cartilage may cause wear and tear on the surface, leading to degeneration of the joint, which will eventually compromise your mobility.

Tennis elbow

As its name suggests, tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that’s caused by the overuse of the elbow. Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. If the pain persists even after ample rest, it could be a case of nerve damage. Left untreated, tennis elbow may become chronic and last for months and sometimes even years. This is especially true if treatment is focused only on relieving pain and not on correcting the muscle weakness and bad habits that might have led to your condition in the first place.

Shoulder dislocation

Although unimaginable to non-athletes, it is possible to exert so much force that it displaces your shoulder from its socket. In that state, there’ll be generalised swelling, loss of shoulder contour and restricted arm movement until fully recovered. Unfortunately, once you’ve dislocated your shoulder, you are likely to dislocate it again. Recurrences are relatively high for dislocation injuries. Recurrent shoulder dislocations also stretch out the ligaments. In treating shoulder dislocation, you should seek medical advice on early surgical treatment such as arthoscopic stabilisation of the shoulder to lower the chances of a second injury.

Sciatica (Lower back pain)

The term sciatica describes pain – and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness – that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Certain sciatica symptoms, while rare, require immediate medical intervention. Because sciatica is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment is focused on addressing the cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms. Sciatica pain can lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back, otherwise known as spinal stenosis. In addition, pain in one’s neck, otherwise known as cervical spinal stenosis, is exceedingly more dangerous as it compresses the spinal cord. Spinal cord stenosis may thus result in severe symptoms, including body weakness and paralysis.

Fracture

On top of stress fractures, highly intense sports also put you at risk of other bone injuries – namely breaking a bone. A broken bone may cause swelling, significant bruising and tenderness around the injured area, and bleeding if the bone has broken the skin (open fracture). It's unlikely you will be able to use the affected limb. The pain associated with a broken bone can also be severe and make you feel faint, dizzy and sick. Repeated injuries to the same bone will increase your chance of arthritis in future.

Advice for athletes

As athletes, sometimes we push on despite the severity of our injuries, at other times we belittle the severity of our injuries. Either way, any form of sports injury should not be taken lightly. As long as you have sustained an injury, remember there’s a chance that it can become worse without proper treatment.

Be sure to take sufficient time off to fully focus on recovery so that you can return to the field as good as before. A specialist will be able to advise you on treatment or recovery plans to prevent the long-term effects that may happen if the condition is not managed.

At other times, remember to adopt safe practices while training or during an actual competition. While some injuries are not within our control, it is not entirely impossible to prevent injuries. During your regular training sessions, always ensure you set aside days to rest so your muscles can recover.

 

Reviewed by Dr Tan Ken Jin, orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital specialising in foot and ankle disorders and sports injuries.

References

1. www.medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001074.htm

2. Sports Injuries and Their Long and Short Term Effects: Proposing a Change in the Injury Awareness Waiver to the NJSIAA by Anthony Chrzanowski, Mike Broadbent with Julie M. Fagan, Ph.D.

3. What Are Sprains and Strains? by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMSD)

4. Osteochondritis Dissecans Of The Knee: Diagnosis And Treatment by US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

5. www.orthoinfo.aaos.org

6. www.emedicine.medscape.com/article/93323-overview

7. www.nhs.uk/conditions/dislocated-knee/Pages/Introduction.aspx

More about

Health Plus
Purchase this article for republication.

VIDEOS YOU SHOULD WATCH

  • #Joeyjios: We try bubble tea mala hotpot and bubble tea toast

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/food/we-try-bubble-tea-mala-hotpot-and-bubble-tea-toast-guess-which-ones-got-us-hooked Mala and bubble milk tea within the same hotpot? What about bubble tea on toast? Who even comes up with these ideas?! This week on #Joeyjios, we give these dubious food creations a taste-test to see if they're worth your time, money and calories. #bubbletea #bbt #boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Thirstdays: Where we talk weird dates and wild fantasies

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/thirstdays-where-we-talk-weird-dates-and-wild-fantasies Ooo, it's been a hot week and the thirst is real at AsiaOne. Join Le En and Bryan as they chat about weird dates, constant 'cravings', and Beyonce's thigh gap! And they are quenching that thirst with a cup of root beer float to celebrate the return of a certain fast food restaurant. Thirstdays is a fortnightly AsiaOne #entertainment series where our hosts Le En and Bryan give you a peek into their personal lives while they satisfy their thirst over a drink, have a no-holds-barred chat, and do fun things. #gossip #confessions #realness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep4: He beats people up, but for the country

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-delinquent-national-wrestler He used to beat people up, simply because he had "too much energy" to expend. Now, he still beats people up - but for the country. Meet 24-year-old #Singapore national wrestler Toh Xin Ran. Seeing the number of medals that he has been awarded and the respectful manner in which he now interacts with his wrestling coach, it is hard to imagine that Xin Ran used to be a troubled kid in his younger days. #wrestling #sportsman --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: Taste-testing The Alley Luxe and CHICHA San Chen

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/food/alley-luxe-and-chicha-san-chen-opens-week-heres-what-try A Michelin-standard bubble tea for $4.70? A drink that looks like the Northern Lights? This week, #Joeyjios her colleague Le En to check out two new bubble tea (BBT) stores that are opening along Orchard Road. Which will they prefer? Watch to find out. #Thedeerishere #TheAlley #Chichasanchen #Boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 5: Bosses and Things

    It’s been a few weeks - let’s find out if the higher-ups of AsiaOne have any regrets about hiring Le En. Efforts were made to make nice, charity is involved and work is never-ending still. Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: DIY your way into mum's heart this Mother's Day

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/women/joeyjios-diy-your-way-mums-heart-mothers-day Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Have you gotten mum a gift yet? This week on #Joeyjios, Joey tries her hand at DIY projects that’s thoughtful, useful and inexpensive. #Mothersday #DIY --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep3: He 'sees' the world with the help of tech

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-he-may-be-blind-he-can-text-faster-you Edwin Khoo, 43, surprises friends with the speed at which he types on his phone. The reason? He's been blind since birth. But #technology has been the game-changer for Edwin in navigating the world around him despite his #disability, allowing him to #travel and even host his own online #podcast. --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 4: The Dress Code

    It’s in the employee handbook - but does ANYONE actually read and follow the dress code? Are calves too scandalous? Le En puts on Athleisure and tries to get away with it! Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Caryn Cheng finds the best deals at IMM's Greater Savings Home and Furnishing Sale

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/5-couples-share-most-expensive-items-they-have-ever-bought-their-home AsiaOne challenges Caryn Cheng to find the best deals at the upcoming #IMM Greater Savings Home and Furnishing #Sale. IMM's Greater Savings Home & Furnishing Sale will start May 13 to 19. With 20 per cent off storewide at Best Denki and discounts of up to 50 per cent at stores such as INKAGU Outlet by Picket & Rail, Linen Gallery Outlet and Red Apple from May 17 to 19, this epic sale is not to be missed. Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601 Opening hours: 10am to 10pm #brandedcontent --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: I try a ballet-inspired workout despite my two left feet

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/joeyjios-i-try-ballet-inspired-workout-despite-my-two-left-feet Tendu, Arabesque and Grand Pliés? This week on #Joeyjios, I found out that these are in fact, not edible food dishes, but dance moves in ballet.  Watch as former professional ballerinas and co-founders of #BalletBody, Lisha Chin and Alison Carroll, take me through a snippet of their hour-long ballet-inspired workout while I try my best to keep up.  #Ballet #Barre #Fitness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com

SERVICES