Orthopods are braced to care for post-Covid sports injuries

Consultant orthopaedic surgeons are bracing themselves for a surge of sports injuries as people get back to tennis and golf as the pandemic eases.

According to the medical director at Orthopaedic Specialists, people are at an increased risk of potential serious upper-limb injuries. 

Mr Ali Noorani

Mr Ali Noorani, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon for shoulders, elbows and upper limbs, predicts that serious injuries will not result from falling or breaking bones. 

People will suffer instead because sports players’ bodies are no longer used to the intense sharp movements required after a year of sedentary home-working, which has stopped the need for those movements.

He said: ‘It is great to get back to sport, but even those who have maintained their fitness throughout lockdown will not be prepared for the sort of movement competitive sport requires.’ 

Mr Noorani said three different groups of people were at risk of injury in competitive sport:

Celebratory sports participants – A large group of people who are not normally active at all but will mark the end of lockdown by expressing their freedom and liberation engaging in sporting activities once courts and courses all re-open.

Temporarily inactive – Lots of people who usually would be actively playing sport throughout the year but have done not much activity at all through lockdown. These people have potentially had a year out from their chosen sport.

Active – A third group has been active during lockdown, engaging in home exercise regimes such as interactive treadmills, running and work-outs. However, even though this group is keeping fit, they are not playing competitive or active sports and are therefore at risk of injury caused by ballistic movement.

The lockdown has already impacted upper-limb injuries over the last year. Mr Noorani reports a significant rise in cycling injuries as people took to the roads in increased numbers.