05-10-2004, 08:03 PM
Hello there. I am a professional rugby player in South Africa and have recently done a grade I/II AC joint injury in last weekends game. This weekend is a big game for us and our medical staff say it is alright for me to get back on the field. I realise what is at stake for the team but don't want to jeopardise my rugby career or shoulder. The movement in my arm seems good but the AC joint is very bruised and moves around quite a bit.Is the shoulder more susceptible now to further damage and should I get xrays to check the extent of the damage?
Your advice would be much appreciated.
05-10-2004, 09:39 PM
The good news is that the A/C joint in professional rugby is virtually never a career-ending injury. That is, even if you damaged it further by playing, it is almost certain that rest at the end of the season, and perhaps surgery, could allow you to return to play without too many problems.
For this reason, in sports where local anaesthetic is legal, the A/C joint is just about the most common injury to be injected, whereby the pain is taken away to allow an early return to sport. In rugby union, this procedure is officially illegal although it is a non-enforced law, so it leaves a difficult dilemma for club doctors.
However in sports such as soccer, American football, rugby league and Australian football, experience with injecting the A/C joint shows that this joint can withstand a lot of punishment that can be corrected at a later date.
If your doctor is sure of the diagnosis and you can withstand the pain, I would advise that it is safe to play. Obviously if the pain is too great you would need to miss the match and if your doctor is unsure of the diagnosis, you should get scans.
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