Soccer requires a player to change directions quickly, accelerate and decelerate continually, and execute lateral movements and pivoting. Then a ball and other moving soccer players are added to the sporting field to provide a competitive, engaging environment. Unfortunately this means that injuries, due to the nature of the game, do occur.
Common Soccer Injuries
Sprains (injury to a ligament) and strains (injury to a muscle or tendon) are the most common soccer injuries. The most common soccer injuries requiring surgery are cartilage (meniscus) tears and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprains in the knee. Common hip injuries include groin (hip flexor) strain and labral tear of the hip joint. Other common injuries (fractures and bruising) occur from direct blows to the body, either by player to player collisions or from another players cleats.
What do you do when you get a soccer injury?
Initial management of soft tissue injuries (ligament, tendon, muscle) follows the basic principles of R.I.C.E.R – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral. If you see deformity, intense pain, joint instability, or suspect a fracture, it is best to consult with an orthopedic physician immediately for a comprehensive evaluation. If the injury is mild R.I.C.E.R will help to manage the swelling, bruising, and inflammation. If signs and symptoms get worse or your injury is not getting better your injury may be more severe and you should consult with an orthopedic physician. Pain level and loss of function are good indicators of when to seek medical help.
Missoula Bone & Joint has several physicians who specialize in sports medicine injuries and the evaluation and treatment of soccer injuries.