The goal of any recreational athlete is to perform at the highest potential level while minimizing damage/injury to the body. One of the most at risk joints in the body is the shoulder as it is both high demand and highly mobile. Rotator cuff injuries are quite common, especially in overhead athletes such as tennis players between the ages of 40 and 60. The injuries can range from mild (such as a tendinitis) to severe (such as a complete tear). This may occur for two reasons. One is degeneration of the tendon as an athlete ages. The other reason is secondary to overuse. Depending on the severity of the injury, either can be extremely painful and debilitating, keeping an athlete on the sideline and unable to participate in tennis. Early detection with the accurate diagnosis is key to treatment and avoiding significant missed participation in tennis. It is of the utmost importance to prevent injury through a stretching and strengthening program as well as working on proper mechanics. Early treatment is usually noninvasive and typically allows athletes to recover quickly without significant loss of play.

Author: Dr. Samuel Sanders, MD >> Greater Washington Orthopaedic Group