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Sports injuries among the Elderly Athletes

A recent surge in physical activity has increased the diversity of sports undertaken among all age groups, including the elderly. Traditional sports, such as golf, tennis and cycling have shifted to snowboarding, marathon and even down hill cycling.

A new generation of veteran athletes have emerged, who may not wish to leave their original sport despite their aging. Patients within this cohort generally have higher demands in terms of body image and physical condition thus sports injuries among veteran athletes often present similarly to younger athletes.

According to earlier studies 70% of  the sports injuries of  the senior athletes were overuse injuries. In the shoulder such problems include frozen shoulder, impingement syndrome and arthritis. In the future more traumatic injuries may be expected such as rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocations, AC- separations and fractures

As always, conservative treatment should be considered when applicable. In terms of surgery, there are limitations depending on the condition of the patient and degeneration of the tissue. However, veteran athletes may be as demanding as the younger athletes.

Data from 56 patients who have previously undergone an arthroscopic CC- ligament reconstruction was collected; 20% were over fifty years old and 11% were over sixty years. Patients over fifty do not want to succumb to the trauma even though they are not young athletes any more. Turning fifty now is very different from what it was thirty years ago; a mental change has occurred. Quality of life is important with sports and well being playing an important role.