[Acute and overuse injuries of the shoulder in sports]

Orthopade. 2014 Mar;43(3):202-8. doi: 10.1007/s00132-013-2141-x.
[Article in German]


Background: During sports the shoulder complex is exposed to considerable load especially where throwing is important and various pathological changes can occur. In the last two decades the shoulder in athletes has become a special term in clinical sports medicine

Methods: Selective literature review in PubMed and consideration of personal experience, research results as well as national and international recommendations

Results: In general acute lesions of the shoulder caused by sudden sport injuries, such as traumatic luxation, acromioclavicular (AC) joint disruption, traumatic tendon ruptures, labral lesions, cartilage defects and fractures have to be distinguished from chronic or long-standing pathologies due to recurrent microtrauma, such as overuse bursitis and tendinitis, as well as secondary forms of impingement along with rotator cuff tears and labral lesions. Besides common pathological changes that can be observed in almost all overhead-sports, there are also injuries that are more sport-specific due to the particular load profile in each sport. These injuries are especially common in racquet and throwing sports (e.g. golf, tennis, handball and volleyball) as well as in individual and artistic sports (e.g. swimming, gymnastics, dancing and rowing), contact and extreme sports (e.g. judo, mixed martial arts, bodybuilding, weightlifting, motocross and downhill mountain biking).

Conclusion: Knowledge about sport-specific load profiles as well as about the variety of treatment options is crucial for successful treatment of these injuries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acromioclavicular Joint / injuries
  • Acute Disease
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Clavicle / injuries
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Scapula / injuries
  • Shoulder Dislocation / diagnosis
  • Shoulder Dislocation / therapy
  • Shoulder Injuries*
  • Tendon Injuries / diagnosis
  • Tendon Injuries / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed