Sports Trauma – Upper Extremities

Bobby Chhabra pic
Bobby Chhabra

Dr. Bobby Chhabra, a fellowship-trained hand surgeon, serves the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Virginia in his capacities as chair and Lillian T. Pratt distinguished professor. In this role and as team doctor for UVA’s sports programs, Dr. Bobby Chhabra provides upper extremity care for patients who have experienced athletic injuries.

According to research, sport injuries to the upper extremities rank highly in frequency, second only to those of the knee. In fact, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that while knee trauma accounts for about 28 percent of sports injuries, upper extremity trauma is not far behind at 23 percent. In terms of specific body parts, injuries are most common to the shoulder but also often occur in the wrist or elbow.

In the case of the shoulder, athletes can harm themselves by way of repetitive, stressful motions that occur in such sports contexts as swimming, pitching a baseball, or lifting weights. As a result, athletes can incur injuries in two main shoulder-harm categories.

The first, called instability, occurs when the shoulder joint gets knocked out of position, sometimes giving rise to dislocation. The second, called impingement, happens when muscles scrape on the acromion, a portion of the shoulder blade.

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