Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-2-2021


Background: This subject of this case is a 16-year-old football offensive tackle/defensive end and soccer player. The subject is undersized for his position, weighing in at about 190 pounds. The injury occurred during the football season but was not reported to the athletic trainer until after the football season was over. The actual moment the injury occurred is unknown. During a weight training day after the end of the season the subject complained to the athletic trainer that he was unable to bench press because of pain in his right shoulder. Upon further examination, the athletic trainer discovered significant atrophy in the shoulder region, upper trap region, and pectoralis region on the subject’s right side. The athletic trainer asked the student if he had ever experienced a “stinger injury” before and the subject stated he experiences that five to six times a day. For reference, more than once a day is cause for concern. Differential Diagnosis: noticeable atrophy, weakness in the muscles innervated by the spinal nerves C5-T2, and sharp bursts of pain throughout the day reported by the subject. Initial diagnosis was a brachial plexus injury. The subject was referred to a neurologist and received a nerve conduction study and MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment: The subject was in between football season and soccer season when this diagnosis was made. The subject was instructed to avoid any headers during soccer games but was allowed to play. During rehabilitation, the subject and athletic trainer focused on strengthening the muscles affected by the brachial plexus injury and reduce any swelling or aggravation to the brachial plexus. If the player reported any of the stinger symptoms during a soccer game, then he was forced to retire. Conclusion: Following the soccer season and rehab, the subject stated the symptoms lessened from feeling sharp pain 5-6 times a day down to once or no symptoms at all during the day. For football season the athlete was given a Kerr collar to wear during the games to protect the brachial plexus.



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