Shoulder injuries in ice hockey

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1988;10(2):54-8. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1988.10.2.54.


Financial support for this study was provided by: the Hubbard Foundation, St. Paul, MN; Institute for Athletic Medicine, Fairview Community Hospitals, Minneapolis, MN; Institute for Athletic Medicine of John C. Lincoln Hospital. Phoenix, AZ; The Mendon Schutt Foundation, Minneapolis; Minnesota State High School League, Anoka, MN; University of Minnesota Computer Center; multiple private donations. A study of shoulder injuries incurred by high school ice hockey players was conducted for the 1982-1983 and 1983-1984 competitive seasons. Data from 480 players (73%), who competed on 12 teams within a 30 mile radius, were included in the analysis. Among these players, shoulder injuries accounted for a rate of 9.4 injuries per 100 players; separation of the acromioclavicular joint was the most common injury. Although 39% of the reported injuries were of mild severity, 44% were moderate in severity, and 18% were major in severity; moreover, 59% of the injured players reported residual persistent symptoms. Of the total injuries, 88% occurred in games or under game-type conditions. The greatest proportion of injuries occurred to players engaged in play in the forward position while in the offensive zone. Over 54% of the injuries were caused by contact with the boards surrounding the ice surface and, reportedly, 43% of the injuries were associated with illegal activities. Based on the study findings, strategies for injury prevention include the following: consideration of techniques of coaching and of play; enforcement of the current rules to decrease the number of injuries related to illegal activities; research relevant to board design and materials to determine if a more yielding barrier can be placed around the playing surface; and utilization of the latest equipment, incorporating unique design and materials, that facilitates dissipation of forces. In addition, there is a need for further comprehensive research efforts relevant to ice hockey injuries that can enable the identification of other risk factors so that prevention and control of injuries can be managed more readily.J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1988;10(2):54-58.