Lacrosse is exploding in popularity on fields across the country. More than 143,000 high school, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes are participating, in addition to more than 150,000 girls and boys in youth leagues, according to US Lacrosse , the sport’s national governing body. This fast-paced game requires great speed, power, agility and endurance, all of which can result in a wide range of lacrosse-related injuries. Our orthopedic surgeons and specialists, athletic trainers, and physical and occupational therapists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can assess your specific injury and recommend individualized treatment using the latest sports injury research and state-of-the-art technology.

Common Lacrosse Injuries
While most lacrosse injuries are minor strains, sprains and bruises, a number of more serious injuries can occur. We recommend you consult with one of our world-class Houston Methodist sports injury specialists if you are experiencing any of the following injuries. 

  • Concussion 
  • Shoulder:
    • Bursitis (swelling and irritation of the fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between muscles, tendons and joints)
    • Impingement syndrome (inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff)
    • Rotator cuff tendonitis
    • Shoulder dislocation
    • Shoulder instability (a loosening of the structures that keep the ball of the shoulder in the socket)
    • Shoulder separation
    • Tendonitis (inflammation, irritation and swelling of a tendon)
    • Torn rotator cuff
  • Elbow:
    • Medial epicondylitis (inflammation on the inner side of the elbow, also known as “little leaguer's elbow”)
    • Lateral epicondylitis (inflammation on the outside of the elbow, also known as “tennis elbow”)
    • Medial elbow ligament tears
  • Hand or wrist:
    • Finger fractures
    • Bursitis
    • Wrist sprains
    • Wrist tendonitis
    • Tenosynovitis (inflammation of tendons on the thumb side of the wrist)
  • Hip, knee or leg:
    • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome (inflammation of the tendon that runs along the outside of the upper thigh)
    • Knee sprains
    • Ligament sprains
    • Patellofemoral syndrome (a thinning and softening of the shock-absorbing cartilage under the kneecap)
    • Torn meniscus
    • Torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL); ACL runs diagonally in the middle of the knee and prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur; PCL is located in the back of the knee and is one of several ligaments that connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone)
    • Shin splints (lower leg pain), stress reactions and stress fractures
  • Foot or ankle:
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Ankle sprains
    • Plantar fasciitis (heel pain due to inflammation of the thick ligament of the base of the foot)
  • Commotio cordis (rare cardiac arrhythmia related to ball to chest contact)

Lacrosse Safety and Injury Prevention Tips
We advise you to schedule a pre-season physical exam to identify any orthopedic issues before they become problems. In addition, follow the steps listed below to ensure a healthy and successful lacrosse season. 

  • Warm up and stretch before every game and practice session, paying special attention to your hips, knees, thighs and calves, and cool down afterward.
  • Inspect the field for any uneven turf, glass, debris and other potential hazards before play begins.
  • Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads, cleats and mouth guards, fits properly and is worn correctly.
  • If you need to wear glasses while playing or practicing, make sure the lenses are shatterproof or wear glass guards or special goggles.
  • Be prepared for emergencies on the field with a first-aid kit, a supply of ice and the phone number of your team physician or the nearest medical facility.

Trust our team of sports injury specialists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to remove you from the injured list and provide you with the knowledge to help prevent future injuries.