Huw David

Sports Injuries and Fractures (Shoulder)

Huw David has treated many professional sportsmen and womenShoulder injuries can be split broadly into soft tissue injuries and bony injuries (including fractures). Soft tissue injuries can result from direct trauma to the shoulder such as a fall or a wrenching injury, or from repeated overhead use. Thus dislocations of the shoulder joint or the acromioclavicular joint (“sprung collar bone”) are common injuries in those participating in contact sports whilst painful inflammation of shoulder tendons is more commonly seen in those playing overhead and raquet sports. Pain with overhead use of the arm may also be a manifestation of instability (see shoulder dislocations). Interestingly a full or complete dislocation of the shoulder joint in elite contact sportsmen such as professional rugby players is not as common as might be expected given the level of impact that occurs when playing at this level and is arguably due to the protective effect of the enhanced upper body muscle development typical in high level rugby players. Such players often complain more of painful clicks and clunks within the shoulder, a refection of the internal damage caused by high impact sports.

Tendon ruptures, including parts of the rotator cuff or biceps tendon can occur, but inflammation of these tendons giving rise to pain on movement, especially movement above head height, is more common.

Shoulder fractures are less commonly seen than comparable injuries involving the leg or foot and ankle. Fractures of the collar bone can occur following a fall, especially when travelling at speed. A fracture of the upper arm or proximal humerus is a less common sporting injury, but when it does occur may be associated with a shoulder dislocation with or without a fracture and nerve injury. Skiers beware!

Thankfully, many such injuries occurring around the shoulder can be managed without the need for surgery. Huw routinely treats professional sportsmen and women as well as “weekend warriors”. Rest, physiotherapy and a measured return to sporting activity forms the mainstay of treatment for most individuals, but when surgery is indicated you can be assured that Huw has trained to an advanced level in trauma management and has a wealth of experience in treating such injuries.