Common Shoulder Injuries In Football You Should Be Aware Of

We love our football whether it’s pee wee, high school, college, or professional. We love to watch it, and youngsters and adults like to play it. Unfortunately, no amount of padding and equipment can prevent injuries from occurring, especially to the shoulder. Here are some common shoulder injuries in football you should be aware of.


A dislocation occurs when the upper arm bone (humorous) pops out of the socket of the shoulder blade. In football, this is common when there is traumatic impact with another player or with the ground. It can also happen with overly strenuous arm movement.

If a player suffers a dislocation once, they are likely to have it happen again. It causes severe pain and visible deformity.


A shoulder separation is more severe than a dislocation. This happens when the ligaments attached to the collar bone (clavicle) partially or completely tear away from the shoulder blade. It commonly happens when tackled directly on the shoulder or if a player falls on his shoulder.youth football player in pads

Rotator Cuff Injuries

This kind of injury usually occurs with overuse. It is common with quarterbacks who throw the football frequently, but it can also happen due to a fall or by getting tackled by another player.

There are partial tears and complete tears. A partial tear means a tendon is not completely torn from the bone. In contrast, a complete tear indicates the tendon is torn completely away from the bone. The only way to repair a complete rotator cuff tear is through surgery.


A player develops tendonitis when there is inflammation and irritation of the tendons in the shoulder causing stiffness. The inflammation can spread to the pocket of fluid which lubricates the rotator cuff tendons resulting in bursitis.


This is a tear to the ring of cartilage that surrounds your shoulder socket. This injury slowly develops with repetitive overhead motions.

When To See Atlantic Pediatric Ortho

Severe shoulder injuries are obvious and should be evaluated immediately by a physician.

If you experience the following symptoms, don’t wait to seek care:

  • If the pain gets worse at night
  • It hurts when raising your arm up
  • It hurts when reaching forward

Request a Pediatric Ortho Visit Today!

Contact the board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons with Atlantic Pediatric Orthopedics at (732) 544-9000 to schedule an evaluation if your child has sustained a football injury in Shrewsbury or Edison.