Serious Injuries for Olympic Athletes

With the 30th Summer Olympic Games in London, England fast approaching, our Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeons at La Peer would like to point out some common injuries associated with Olympic athletes. By being aware of the potential consequences, you might be able to avoid one of these serious injuries:

Broken Bones

There is only so much strain that our bones are willing to handle, but athletes succeed by pushing those boundaries to their limit. As a consequence, bones break but not all bones break evenly. The difference between a small, hairline fracture and a gruesome dislocation could be the difference between being out of action for a few weeks or possibly the end of an Olympian’s illustrious career.

Ligament and Tendon Injuries

While your muscles grow and expand when you work out, your tendons and ligaments remain at about the same size. For Olympic athletes, with bodies under seemingly constant training and exercise, ligaments and tendons can sprain or tear at a moment’s notice. While some ligaments in the wrist or hand can be played through pain, an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tearor a torn Achilles tendon will likely keep an athlete out of competition for six months to a year.

Head Injuries

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can end an athlete’s career in a moment. Not only that, lifetime of medical care might even be necessary because such an injury could take away brain function. Boxers are acutely affected by head injuries, in addition to athletes from both contact and non-contact sports. The best way to prevent a concussion or another brain injury is to wear a helmet.

Neck Injuries

Of the nearly 10,000 serious neck injuries in the U.S. each year, about 1,000 cases result from accidents during sports. Common injuries include strained or sprained cervical spines with symptoms ranging from tightness on one side of the neck to painor even reduced motion. More rare and serious injuries could result in temporary or permanent paralysis. This is why athletes that suffer high-energy trauma to the head or neck are treated on the assumption that a serious cervical spine injury or broken neck has occurred. If first responders or athletic trainers employ proper management on-scene and proper care can be administered, the long-term damage of a catastrophic injury might be limited.

If you have suffered any of the above injuries while playing sports, please schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedists by calling (855) 360-9119.