Sports injuries are divided into two categories: acute traumatic injuries and overuse injuries. The most common traumatic injuries in tennis are ankle sprains and muscle pulls. Some of these can be prevented by proper warm-up and stretching before playing, as well as the right tennis shoe.
I have been involved as one of the physicians at the Sony Championships for nearly 20 years. The most common overuse injuries we see are tennis elbow, which is a pain on the outside part of the elbow from overuse “lateral epicondylitis.”
With the changes in racket technology, wrist problems are now quite frequent. They can be very painful and debilitating for a tennis player. The most common wrist injuries are ligamentous disruption and injuries to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC).
Overuse injuries of the shoulder, known as an impingement syndrome, are a form of rotator cuff tendinitis and bursitis. They are common among today’s elite tennis players.
Lower back overuse injuries, including strains and stress fractures, are not unusual with the changes in service motion and racket technology. Overuse injuries in the knee seen in elite tennis players frequently are kneecap tendinitis and stress fractures, which are microfractures of the bone.