> Skip repeated content

World Cup 2014: Injury Report

soccer player celebration

It’s time for this week’s HSS Injury Report! Throughout the year, we will be watching different sports and sharing more information on the injuries that different players sustain and the recovery process to get back in the game. To see last week’s injury report, click here. Check back next week for the next installment of the Injury Report!

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has had a lot of surprises so far. After Spain, the reigning champs, were sent home after just 2 games, teams have been on their toes. Here are a few of the injuries that we have seen this week in the 2014 FIFA World Cup:

Concussion: A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Because an athlete may appear normal, a team physician or coach may not know if an athlete has sustained a concussion. The risk of a second, more serious concussion is greatly increased when someone is still symptomatic from a first concussion. Returning to play following concussion remains controversial. It is vital that players, trainers, and coaches evaluate the return on an individual basis, not based on a rigid timeline, in order to protect the brain from further injury, as well as to reduce the risk of multiple concussions and their cumulative effects.

Tendinitis: Tendinitis (also known as tendonitis or tenonitis) is a general term used to describe inflammation associated with a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bone, and inflammation of these rope-like tissues is the most common cause of soft-tissue pain. The onset of tendonitis can usually be attributed to overuse of the associated area. The first line of treatment for tendonitis involves the RICE protocol, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Methods of treating recurring tendonitis differ for the various locations in the body, and can include immobilization with a splint, sling, or crutches; physical therapy; the application of heat, including skin balms, hot packs, and soaking; anti-inflammatory medications, local injection of corticosteroids; and, for the most severe forms of tendonitis, surgical procedures. In the most difficult and treatment-unresponsive cases, surgical procedures can be used to realign tendons, remove spurs which are causing pressure on tendons, and to remove areas of calcium buildup. Treatment options and ultimate outcome are often very limited once the tendon has become irreversibly damaged or has ruptured.

Muscle Strain: Muscle injuries are commonly referred to as strains or pulls. Factors that can predispose an athlete to injury include older age, previous muscle injury, less flexibility, lack of strength in the muscle, and fatigue. When muscle is initially injured, there is significant inflammation and swelling. A significant amount of scar tissue forms where the muscle was injured. Over time, this scar tissue remodels, but the muscle never fully regenerates, making the muscle prone to a subsequent injury. Muscle strains can most often be treated successfully with rest, ice, compression, elevation (also known as RICE), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Most injuries do not require surgery and a full recovery is expected in most cases. Return to full activity is usually allowed when the patient is pain free, has full range of motion, and full strength. Many athletes are able to return to their previous level of competition, but since scar tissue forms at the site of injury, they may susceptible to another injury at that location.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.