6 Most Common Sports Injuries

Published on June 22, 2018


common sports injuries

It comes as no surprise that athletes are particularly prone to injury. Due to the regular exposure to strenuous activity, they eventually experience damage to their tissues. It can occur on a number of areas including the joints, ligaments, cartilages, skin, bones, and even nerves, which may cause significant pain while restricting movement.

With that, let’s take a moment to look at the six most common sports injuries sustained by professional athletes and physically active individuals.

  1. Shin Splints
    Known as medial tibial stress syndrome, it happens when excessive stress is applied to the shinbone and the connective tissues attached to it. It is commonly experienced by runners or athletes whose training requires a lot of footwork. Shin splints result in inflammation and mild pain, which will resolve on its own.
    Doctors typically recommend to rest and take anti-inflammatory pain medications, as needed. It is also best to apply ice or a cold compress over the injury and uses insoles. This is a typical cause of injury for flat-footed athletes.
  2. Dislocation
    Dislocation happens when bones misalign or fall out of place due to a sudden and sometimes uneven impact. The knees and shoulders are common sites of dislocated bones, leading athletes to experience pain and the inability to use the injured limb. Dislocating your joints once will increase the chance of recurring dislocation.
  3. Ankle Sprains
    This injury happens when the ligaments found in the ankle tear or overstretch. Ankle sprains are often caused by excessive movements that lead the foot to roll forward, causing the ligament to stretch beyond its limit.
    If an athlete experienced a severe sprain before an injury, there is a higher possibility of a repeat sprain at the same site. An acute ankle sprain may require a longer bracing period. However, in worst cases, it may require ligament repair surgery, or it may lead to permanent ankle instability.
  4. Bone Fractures
    Fractures involve total breakage of the bone and may be classified as a closed fracture or an open fracture. The closed fracture is if the fractured bone does not pierce through the skin, while during an open fracture the broken bone is puncturing through the skin.
  5. Stress Fractures
    Stress fractures range from a simple fissure to acute bruising within the bones. It often happens on weight-carrying areas of the body such as the wrists, foot, and ankles. Runners and athletes whose sports require running like soccer and basketball often experience a stress fracture.
    It takes six to eight weeks to recover from a stress fracture. Returning to active competition or training will increase the risk of sustaining a more significant stress fracture and a prolonged downtime. Athletes need to undergo rehabilitation during recovery.
  6. Knee Injuries
    An ACL tear is a common knee injury sustained by professional athletes. It may cause severe pain and swelling, especially if the ligament bleeds into the knee. The instability of the knee after a torn ACL injury may make athletes prone to secondary injuries such as lacerated cartilages and arthritis. In worst cases, an untreated ACL injury may lead to the early deterioration of the knee joint.
    Recovery from reconstructive surgery of the ACL takes between six to nine months, including rehabilitation. This period allows the formation of new blood vessels and permits the joint to regain its normal strength, function, and range of motion.

Closing Thoughts

For professional athletes, and even physically active individuals, any form of injury or trauma can be limiting and hinders the progress of a professional career in sports. Thus, sustained injuries should never be taken lightly as it can worsen if not treated immediately and properly. Full recovery is a must before resuming training and returning to the field. It would allow athletes to regain complete function, enjoy a full range of motion, and compete at optimum performance.

Contact our team to learn more about sports injury treatment and recovery. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the best orthopedic surgeons in Houston, Texas.

Abeer Saqer


Abeer Saqer is the CEO of the Memorial International Patient Care Network at Memorial Medical City. There, Abeer assists individuals and families from around world to receive world-class and state-of-the-art medical care in the United States. She has served as a consultant to government leaders, foreign dignitaries, and corporate executives.

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