This cuff, sometimes mistakenly called rotator "CUP" by patients, is one of the most important stabilizers of the shoulder joint. Any problem with this tendinous cuff may severely limit such activities as raising your arm above your head, reaching behind you, or doing forceful lifting. Continuing with sports-related activities or aggressive workouts may increase your risk of developing further problems.
With the humeral head removed, one can readily see the location of the many soft tissue structures that make up the shoulder joint. Because of the lack of bone support in this shallow joint, the soft tissue element's importance cannot be overstated. It is evident that these structures add a great deal of stability to this unique joint.
Basketball is a physically demanding contact sport. Due to the repetitive and forceful nature of running, jumping, twisting, and direct contact, the relation between injury and sport often parallel each other. Some of the most common basketball injuries involve the knee, ankle, and foot. These may include tears to the meniscus, ACL sprains or tears, patellar tendonitis, ankle sprains, and metatarsal fractures in the foot.
An ankle sprain is a common occurrence in basketball, as well as other sports. This injury causes a stretch or tear to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle. Sprains are graded on a I to III Grading Scale based on ligament damage, with a Grade III Sprain being the most severe injury. The most common mechanism of injury involves stepping or landing on someone else's foot. The result is a twisting injury to the ankle. Symptoms may include sudden pain, swelling, discoloration, and an inability to move the ankle properly.
If symptoms persist, deformities are noted, or pain intensity is high, x-rays may need to be taken to rule out any bone fractures. Initial treatment for ankle injuries should include protection from further injury, ice, compression, rest, and elevation. It may be necessary for the player to wear an ankle brace and/or ankle tape to prevent further injury during rehabilitating and after returning to active play.
A Sports Medicine physician's role in this process is important, and may offer the player, the parents, and coaches valuable reassurance. Restoration of motion, strength, and proprioception (a sense of balance) are essential for the athlete to return to activity safely.
Another common injury in the ankle-foot complex involves fractures to the metatarsal bones in the foot. A simple stress fracture in one of the metatarsals is most often treated with non-operative measures such as rest, protected weight-bearing, and strengthening. However, fractures of the 5th metatarsal (the outside metatarsal bone) are among the most difficult to treat. Surgical intervention may be necessary in those fractures with delayed healing, or those fractures more severe in nature.