Rare weight lifting injury required surgery

A young, healthy man injured himself so severely while weight lifting that he required surgery and nearly a full week in the hospital to recover. The unusual case report of compartment syndrome to the shoulder will be reported online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("An Unusual Complication of Weightlifting: A Case Report").

"Typically, compartment syndrome is associated with the lower extremities, not the shoulder, and with trauma, not exercise," said lead study author Leonard Bunting, MD, FACEP, of Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. "Our patient over-exerted himself so much by weight lifting that he put himself in danger of suffering permanent damage. This is a case where doing something theoretically healthy—weight training—actually caused serious injury."

A 23-year-old male came to the emergency department with and swelling in his shoulder. He reported having lifted heavier weights than usual the day before. Surgery and aggressive inpatient treatment with for six days provided complete relief of pain and recovery of a full range of motion.

"Apart from being an unusual complication of weight lifting, this case highlights the unique aspects of bedside ultrasound in evaluation of unusual musculoskeletal conditions," said Dr. Bunting. "The patient's pain was out of proportion to the injury, and a bedside ultrasound exam confirmed muscle . The compartment pressures in the injured muscle were incredibly high. Fortunately, he received prompt treatment and went back to the gym a little wiser for the experience."

Related Stories

Adolescents' weight linked to severe knee pain

date Sep 05, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Adolescents with a body mass index (BMI) rating of obese experience knee pain more often and to a greater severity than adolescents with a healthy weight, a new study shows.

Lifting weights protects against metabolic syndrome

date Oct 23, 2012

People who lift weights are less likely to have metabolic syndrome—a cluster of risk factors linked to heart disease and diabetes, reports a study in the October issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, offici ...

Building muscle without heavy weights

date Apr 26, 2012

Weight training at a lower intensity but with more repetitions may be as effective for building muscle as lifting heavy weights says a new opinion piece in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Recommended for you

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

date 16 minutes ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

date 2 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

Probing Question: What is umami?

date 3 hours ago

The next time you're at a dinner party and want to spice up the conversation, you might compliment the hosts on their umami-rich appetizers. Then wait a moment until someone invariably asks, "What's umami?"

Will the Affordable Care Act eliminate health disparities?

date 5 hours ago

Massachusetts' health reform may be a crystal ball for researchers and policymakers in forecasting the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act. Many see the ACA as the backbone of efforts toward closing the nation's health ...

Experts question election pledges on GP access

date 16 hours ago

As the general election in the UK approaches, experts writing in The BMJ this week question whether the party promises on access to general practice are likely to be achievable.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.