Common shoulder injuries. The most common shoulder conditions in tennis players include impingement, superior labral (SLAP) lesions, damage to the rotator cuff (including partial and full thickness rotator cuff tears ), acromioclavicular (ACJ) pain and damage to the long head of the biceps. The rotator cuff tendons attach the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade and pass through a narrow channel.
Shoulder separation or AC joint injury causes. Shoulder separation often happens because of a hit to: The tip of your shoulder. The top part of your shoulder. Your outstretched arm. You may damage the AC joint or rotator cuff from a fall or tackle during a game. Learn more about AC joint care
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The joint is stabilized by a capsule and ligaments, and injury occurs when these structures are damaged. When the capsule and ligaments are injured, the joint can become unstable and painful, and shoulder function can be affected. This type of injury is referred to as an “AC joint sprain” or a “separation.”
An AC joint injury can result from a hard fall, accident, or from a traumatic event. An acromioclavicular joint injury can result in a severe AC sprain, AC fracture or an AC joint separation, which occurs when the collarbone (clavicle) separates from the shoulder blade (acromion). An AC joint injury is measured in varying grades.
Rotator cuff injuries-injury to the tendon attachment of the rotator cuff is the single most common injury in tennis. Injuries can range from a simple tendonitis/ strain to tearing of the tendon insertion from bone. Milder injuries are seen in younger age groups while more severe injuries are associated with higher levels of play.
Acromioclavicular Joint. An acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury is commonly referred to as “shoulder separation” and should not be confused with a shoulder dislocation. Your acromioclavicular joint (or AC Joint) is the joint at the top of your shoulder between your clavicle (collarbone) and your scapula (shoulder blade). The AC joint is essential.
When the AC joint is separated, it means that the ligaments are torn and the collarbone no longer lines up with the acromion. Ligaments are tough, sinewy tissues that act like tethers to hold the bones together. When those ligaments are stretched or torn they can be very painful. The injury to the ligaments in an AC separation can be mild to severe.
Before returning to any type of sport following an AC joint injury you should have full pain-free range of motion. On returning to contact sports, protect your shoulder by taping the joint. Add a circular piece of padding with a hole cut in the middle over the top of your shoulder for extra protection.