Most Common Hockey Injuries
It’s playoff hockey season! Let’s talk about some of the most common injuries suffered by hockey players, amateurs and professionals alike!
Concussion: Concussion remains the most common injury suffered by hockey players. Most concussions do not involve loss of consciousness and can occur with vague symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and emotional irritability. Keeping your eyes up and off the puck can help to avoid any high checks that are coming your way. It takes a lot of practice to play with your head up, but in time your puck-handling skills won’t require your eye site!
Knee injuries: Injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the knee is the second-most common injury in hockey. The MCL injury occurs when the ligament on the inner part of the knee stretches or tears. Although painful, this injury usually does not require surgery, and a player can typically return to the ice within a couple of weeks.
Shoulder injuries: Injuries to the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) and clavicle (collarbone) frequently occur when a player is checked against the boards or falls on the ice. These injuries do not commonly require surgery but should be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to determine the appropriate treatment and minimize downtime for recovery.
Ankle injuries: Even though the skates cover the entire ankle and support it because of its design, rapid direction changes that occur while skating causes a high risk for torque injuries and “high ankle sprains.” This injury often leads to the greatest loss of playing time because of how long it takes an ankle to heal. In a recent study, ankle injuries in hockey resulted in an average playing-time loss of more than 5 games and 15 practices.
Each year, more than 63,000 hockey-related injuries are treated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospital emergency rooms. The risk of injury cannot be completely eliminated, but most injuries are mild, and may include bruises, muscle pulls, ligament tears, and cuts. More serious injuries are rare, and may include broken teeth, concussions, broken bones, dislocations, and spine or spinal cord injuries.
Coaches, athletes, and parents must be aware of the possible injuries and follow the rules in place to prevent them. Serious injuries can be avoided if players avoid dangerous tactics or overly aggressive play.
If you’ve suffered from a hockey injury and are suffering pain, contact a pain management specialist. A pain management doctor with experience in sports related injuries understands how an athlete needs to recover so they can get back onto the ice!
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons