Sports injuries and diseases of the shoulder


Skiing and shoulder


Skiing and shoulder injuries - some statistics:
Within the last years ski sports developed explosively. About 200 million people are skiing, worldwide. Most injuries in skiing are happening at the leg followed by the shoulder / arm region. About 0.5 injuries are happening on about 1000 days of skiing. More than 90% of all shoulder injuries in skiing are happening because of a fall. 3% are happening due to a collision with other people and 1% due to a collision with trees and other. Traumata of the knee and ankle joint are dependent on technique like boots and so on. Shoulder injuries are independent of technical factors and are happening due the kind of fall, most of the time. Even in minor shoulder skiing trauma about 30% of all people still have shoulder pain after three years !


Carver skiing and shoulder injuries:
Using carving ski the injury rate of the shoulder seems to be higher. At the beginning 90th about 35% of the traumatic lesions occured at the shoulder / neck / arm region and 55% at the lower extremity. Around 2002 / 2003 there was a change: 55% upper lessions and 41% leg traumata. The shorter a ski is the more likely it is, that an injury happens at the shoulder / arm region.


Snowboarding and shoulder injuries:
In snowboarding 50% of all injuries happen at the upper extremity. Professional athletes as well as hobby snowboarders are affected nearly the same. The shoulder is the second most affected joint ( after the knee ). Using of protectors seems to reduce the injury risk. Some other studies are claiming a higher injury rate in snowboarding, when wearing protectors for the hand.


Telemark skiing and shoulder injuries:
In telemarking the is affected in about 20% of all injuries.


Skiing and rotator cuff tears:
Tears of the rotator cuff are observed most ( in about 25% of all shoulder skiing injuries ). Those people suffering from a cuff tear in skiing are on average 10 years older than people with other shoulder lesions. Method of choice is a nonoperative treatment in the begining. If this doesn´t work, most of the time, an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair will be performed.


Skiing and shoulder dislocations:
As the second most shoulder problem observed, dislocations occur in about 20% of all skiing injuries. Most of them happen to the anterior and inferior direction. A lot of pain and loss of usage property of the shoulder and arm happen. A reposition has to be done at once and afterwards a arthroscopic stabilization procedure will be performed, often.


Skiing and ac dislocation:
The ac joint ( acromioclavicular joint ) is the joint between the lateral end of the clavicle and the shoulder roof, so called acromion. In about 20% a dislocation of the ac joint happens. Some of the ac dislocations can be treated nonoperatively and some have to be stabilized.


Skiing and fractures of the clavicle, humerus head and shaft:
Quite frequently and as a severe injury fractures of the clavicle occur in skiing people. Fortunately fractures of the humeral head happen in only 1% and fractures of the humeral shaft in about 3%.


Skiing and SLAP labrum lesions:
SLAP is an abbreviation for " superior labrum anterior posterior ", which means that due to a fall / trauma the upper part of the labrum at the glenoid is torn and makes problems / pain. A SLAP lesion might be responsible for unknown / unclear shoulder pain after a ski fall.



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