DR HQ: Anatomy 101—Leftover questions

I’ve gotten a few questions via email regarding topics and definitions that still need clarification. So this edition of Anatomy 101 will answer some of those questions.

Q: Is the trapezius muscle part of the rotator cuff?
A: The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. So, no, it is not part of the rotator cuff. The trapezius is muscle a triangular muscle that covers the thorax, neck and shoulder. This muscle’s outer edge connects over the shoulder region. While it is not as important as the rotator cuff, it still is very important part of the throwing motion. For Clay Buchholz earlier this season, his injury appeared to start with tightness in the trapezius, thus reducing his ability to throw effectively. Also, there does not appear to be a direct connection between rotator cuff problems and injuries involving the trapezius muscle.

Courtesy: www.wavesport.ning.com




















Courtesy: www.anatomisty.com

Q: Is a lat strain the same as a strained back?
A: The lat muscle, whose full name is latissimus dorsi muscle, is in the back region going from just below the shoulder blade to the lower back region. Injuries to that area of the muscle can be described as a lower back strain. Problems to other areas of the lower back region don’t include lat muscle. So when we hear about a strained lower back, the first thing we try to do is find out if there is any disc involvement. If there isn’t, then the lower back may be a simple strain of the lower lat muscle or other muscles in the lower back region. In most cases, strains to the lower back region are not as serious as disc and vertebrae injuries.

Courtesy: http://inadawords.com


Q: What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
A: Of all the injuries that are reported in sports, just not baseball, writers sometimes get the two mixed up. Keeping them separate is easy:

Strain is when the muscle or tendon is injured due to over stretching. The fibers are torn due to the injury. Sometimes we hear about a player with a pulled muscle. This is a common term for someone who has strained a muscle or tendon. Strain = muscles or tendons.

Sprain – Involves a ligament and also involves a joint in the body. The ligaments in the joint provide support and help with the function of the joint. When trauma occurs to a joint, the fibers of the ligament are torn making the joint weaker and less able to provide the function that is needed. While sprains can occur with any joint, ankle, knee and elbow sprains are the most common. Sprain =  ligaments and joints.

Q: Did Derek Jeter come back too quick from his fractured ankle last fall?
A: This is an interesting question. Last fall when he suffered a fracture in his left ankle, specifically to the fibula bone, we were assured he would be ready for the opener 2013. He didn’t make it back until July 11 because he suffered a re-fracture of the injury.

Was Jeter rushed back too quickly? Only Jeter and the medical staff that treated him know for sure. One possible explanation is that Jeter had developed some weakness in the bone where the fracture occurred. Even if he wasn’t rushed back too quickly, that weakness very well could have led to the second fracture. The lesson here is no matter what the player/team says regarding a player’s return date, there are so many variables to be factored into the analysis, it is very difficult to be accurate evaluating injuries, especially those over the winter when he don’t get consistent and somewhat accurate updates.

Upcoming: Tommy John surgery and injuries to the rotator cuff.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.