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Back and Shoulder Injuries

An informative educational session was presented by consultant Orthopedic Surgeon Dr Jim Khursandi on Wednesday 3rd September in Brisbane. In the session, Dr Khursandi gave the audience a comprehensive overview of conditions affecting the back and shoulder.

Dr Khursandi started with the back, defining some common work-related back and shoulder conditions and their causes. He went through the anatomy of the spine, highlighting regions of the vertebrae including intervertebral discs, which lie between adjacent vertebrae. With knowledge of the anatomy, the audience was then able to gain a better understanding of the conditions Dr Khursandi discussed, including scoliosis, sciatica, herniated discs, spondylolysis oblique and spondylolisthesis.

Dr Khursandi also spoke about musculoligamentous sprains and their treatments, as well as the aggravation of osteoarthritis facet joints. He explained the condition of degenerative and herniated discs, their treatment and the long term prognosis for workers with these conditions.

With his decades of experience in orthopedic surgery and especially with his long experience with medico-legal reports, Dr Khursandi stressed to the audience the importance of providing as much information as possible on the exact mechanism of an alleged injury, explaining that some conditions such as vertebral disc injuries would be caused by compressive forces more so than twisting motions.

Dr Khursandi went on to explain rotator cuff tears in the supraspinatus muscle and tendon, cartilage injuries, tendonitis, bursitis and subluxation or dislocation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. He spoke about frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, explaining that it affects women more frequently than men, with usual onset between the ages of 40 to 65 years. He explained that it was not a cumulative condition and as such, was not related to overuse. Heavy manual work is not a cause, nor is there any particular type of work that would predispose a person to frozen shoulder.

With shoulder injuries, Dr Khursandi stressed the importance of maintaining a passive range of movement to strengthen and stabilise the shoulder, and to use the sling for short periods only (days to weeks).
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