Our panel of seasoned doctors tell volleyball and hockey players and other sportsmen how they can get their injuries treated and continue playing
Q: I am a volleyball player. My age is 27 years. A few months ago while playing I lost my balance and fell on my left shoulder. Since then a pain has been bothering me while playing. I know it is some kind of injury, but don’t know which specialist doctor I should visit. Please advise. – Abdul Wahid
Dear Abdul Wahid, in volleyball, the most important joint is the shoulder. This can impact your performance and maximum strength and fitness of this joint will allow you to play at a higher level.
There are many possible problems related to the joint which depend upon the nature of the injury and the structure involved. It might be a soft tissue trauma which can lead to rotator cuff tear or bicep tendonitis or hair line fracture to joint damage. For the best evaluation, clinical diagnosis and subsequent management you need to consult an orthopedic surgeon with Sports Medicine sub-speciality. They will help you reach a correct diagnosis and will treat your problem so that you may keep your sporting activity at maximum level.
Dr. Muhammad Kazim Rahim
MD, FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports medicine Fellow (IRI) (France), Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Fellowship (PAS, Pak) Assistant Professor & Consultant | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,
Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College
Q: I am 25 years old. I play hockey. Six months ago, I suffered an ankle injury while playing. I was taken to a local hospital where doctors diagnosed fracture, and immediately I was bandaged. It’s been six months now, the bandage was removed after six weeks, but I still have severe pain. The doctor said it would go away with the passage of time, but I wonder how long I will have to wait. Please advise. – Rab Nawaz Khan
Dear Rab Nawaz, ankle fractures are very common while playing hockey. These fractures are managed with very high accuracy in young patients so that they return to their regular sport activities. There is at times a ligament injury associated with an ankle fracture which causes persistent pain during walking and sports activities even after the fracture heals. You need complete evaluation of your ankle joint along with some investigations. It is advisable to visit an orthopedic surgeon with special interest in foot and ankle surgery along with your previous records to decide further management so that you can return to sport activities.
Dr. Muhammad Sufyan
FCPS (Ortho) AO Fellow (Germany), Sports Medicine Fellowship (Singapore) Assistant Professor & Consultant | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College
Q: I am an athlete. I am 28 and participate in long jumps. Last year while participating in the sport, I landed on my heels. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my right heel, but in the heat of the event I tried ignoring it. Now it’s been almost a year, but my pain is still there. Please guide me to a good doctor or suggest me what to do. – Rustom Shah
Dear Rustom, common long jump injuries occur either at the time of take-off or landing. This can include fractures, acute muscle tears, dislocations, serious ligament sprains, tendon ruptures and knee derangements.
Since your injury occurred at the time of landing and was localised at the heel it could have been due to ligament sprain, tendon injures, fracture of Calcaneum or Talus bones.
As you stated that the severity of pain was manageable enough to continue the game, occurrence of fracture seems unlikely. However, simple bone or fat pad bruising should settle down in two months. It does not usually continue for a year.
The injury may be ligamentous or tendinous. You should visit a good orthopedic surgeon in a major hospital so that you can be examined clinically and undergo necessary investigations which may include X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
Dr. Nasir Ahmed
MCPS (Surg), FCPS (Tr & Orth) Assistant Professor & Consultant | Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College
Q: I am a swimmer. I have been diagnosed with diabetes. Can I still swim and participate in competitions? I am 32 years old. – Arifuddin Mehar
Dear Arifuddin, you can definitely swim and take part in competitions even with diabetes. In fact, swimming can help you manage your diabetes better, though you need to be mindful of a few important considerations.
Swimming requires lots of energy, and involves most muscle groups in your body. This means that your muscles need to be strong with readily available sources of energy. Uncontrolled diabetes makes muscles weak and glucose is not readily available for the muscles. This can make swimming difficult. If diabetes is well controlled, muscles remain strong and glucose becomes available for the hard working muscles during swimming.
A good diet is essential in managing diabetes, especially if you are a swimmer. It is important to have some short acting carbohydrates before swimming to give your muscles instant energy. Some oral medications and insulin may cause episodes of low blood sugar. So it is important to have frequent snacks to avoid low blood sugar level.
Try to keep your weight normal, as being overweight and obesity can hamper your ability to swim. It is essential to keep a glucometer with you, and check your blood sugar levels as advised by your doctor. Have regular follow up with your doctor.
In short, you can continue to swim and take part in competitions. The discipline required in diabetes can help you evolve into a great swimmer; likewise swimming will surely be beneficial for your diabetes. This should be a win-win situation if dealt with care.
Dr. Ali Asghar
MRCP (UK), FACE (USA) Fellowship in Diabetes & Endocrinology Assistant Professor & Consultant | Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology And Metabolism Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College.