When 5-year-old Jane Morehead tumbled off her bike in May 2017, it didn’t seem like a big deal. Jane’s dad was with her at the time, and both of them considered the fall a minor one. The whole family was surprised, therefore, when Jane had pain in her left shoulder the next day. At an emergency room (ER) near the family’s home in North Carolina, x-rays of Jane’s shoulder appeared normal. The doctor diagnosed a possible sprain and sent Jane home in a sling. As far as Jane and her parents were concerned, that was the end of it. …
When it comes to orthopedic injuries, sports are usually talked about as high-risk activities, but it’s not often we consider the risk that musicians take when playing an instrument for hours every day.
Musicians can get overuse injuries the same way that athletes do, and are at risk for neck and back injuries, as well as shoulder strain. In particular, nerve injuries in the upper extremities are quite common amongst string instrument musicians, as they tend to hold their instruments in abnormal positions for long periods of time.
While parents may not think that their kid playing an instrument could come with potential injury hazards, these conditions can leave a child or young adult in pain and unable to play. Andrea Bauer, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon in the Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program at Boston Children’s Hospital details how these injuries occur and what parents should look out for.