Question:I just started playing women's softball at the college level and now I've dislocated my shoulder. Can I keep playing and get it treated during the off-season?
You really need a medical opinion on this. The main problem with putting off treatment is the concern about redislocating the shoulder. There is a high recurrence rate (80 percent) in younger patients (up to age 30).
Many doctors advise early treatment to prevent further injury and damage to the joint. But a new study from the University of Minnesota showed that 90 percent of the athletes could complete their season with nonoperative treatment. The athletes went to physical therapy and used a variety of shoulder braces, depending on their sport.
More than half of the injured athletes ended up having surgery during the off-season. There were no reports of injury that affected their ability to play or the surgery later.Daniel D. Buss, MD, et al. Nonoperative Management for In-Season Athletes With Anterior Shoulder Instability. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. August/September 2004. Vol. 32. No. 6. Pp. 1430-1433.
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