Ask the Sports Doc: Buckle fracture

Published 11:36 pm Saturday, August 22, 2009

My 11-year-old son has a buckle fracture of his wrist. The orthopedic doctor casted him and said he can play football. Is that safe?

Dr. Patel writes: Buckle fractures of the wrist can be painful if treated without a cast and there is a risk of breaking the bone completely. If you immobilize them in a well-padded fiberglass cast, it is safe for your son to play contact sports as long as the integrity of the cast is not compromised. I also try to get my athletes back in the game as soon as I think it is safe for them to play.

I have recently been diagnosed with a SLAP tear in my shoulder. What exactly is it and what can I do for it?

Dr. Patel writes: A SLAP (Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior) tear occurs when there is damage to the labrum where the biceps tendon attaches to the glenoid (the socket part of the shoulder). A SLAP tear can occur from repetitive trauma in overhead athletes. It can also be from a fall or if the arm is jerked quickly.

Many patients will complain of pain on the front part of the shoulder and even a popping or grinding sensation inside the joint. A SLAP tear can be diagnosed with a good clinical exam in the office and can be confirmed by a MRI.

A conservative approach to treatment is the first option. Physical therapy is usually prescribed to work on range of motion and strength. If this does not alleviate the pain, then an arthroscopic repair or debridement of the biceps and labrum is performed. You may be in a pillow sling and have a rehab course to get you back pain free and with no weakness in the shoulder.