MUSCAT, April 14 – Oman national football team forward Musallam Mohammed Khamis Akaak was suffering with an ACL injury six months back. The promising player thought his career would face a setback until he met Dr Sachin Singh, Orthopedic surgeon in Lifeline Hospital, Salalah.
At present, the Mirbat player is back to the thick of action as he played a crucial role in Oman winning the Airmarine Cup in Malaysia recently. Musallam Akaak netted two goals in the tournament as Oman’s new coach Erwin Koeman made his debut with the Red Warriors.
In Salalah, most of the injury cases he came across were of ACL, said Dr Sachin.
He said the most common sports injuries are those related to the knee, ankle and shoulder. These would depend on the type of sports played.
“As football is a major sport in Oman, the most common injuries are those related to the knee of which the tear of ACL, which is the key stabiliser of the knee joint and meniscal injuries are predominant,” the surgeon said.
The common reason for the rise in such injuries is the lack of warm-up before the matches in case of many amateur players.
“It used to be associated with sports persons (footballers, cricketers, tennis players, etc.), but now it is seen among common people as well. Common reason is there’s no warm-up or stretching involved prior to game,” he said.
Landing on one foot or twisting one’s knees are the most common form of ACL, meniscal, other ligaments and cartilage injuries.
Symptoms of an ACL injury includes pain, a popping sound during injury, instability of the knee, and swelling of your joint. The swelling generally appears within a couple of hours of the injury. Talking about his experience in the Sultanate, he said, “On an average we have more than 150 patients per year visiting Lifeline Hospital for treatment of various sports injuries.”
Generally sportsmen who play contact sports are more prone for degenerative changes (Osteoarthritis) in their knee and hip joints at a younger age than the general population.
“The most common reconstruction surgeries in my experience in Oman are the arthroscopic reconstruction of the cruciate ligaments of the knees.”
Sachin said that as these ligaments are not repairable “they are reconstructed by using grafts”.
“These grafts can be obtained from the same body in the form of other tendons and they are called Autografts.
He said that chondral injuries are also common in sports persons.
“The treatment of chondral injuries would depend on clinical and radiological assessment. It ranges from conservative treatment to arthroscopic microfracture technique, mosaic plasty and autologous chondrocyte reimplantation.”
There is a lack of awareness on fitness in the country as most of the people jump on to play matches before warm-up due to sheer enthusiasm for the game. All the sports enthusiasts should give top priority to warm-up or other exercises that ensure their match fitness, the doctor concluded.