By Tom Keppeler, Shoulder1 Staff
Allen Iverson is no stranger to sports-induced injury. His chronically swollen elbow nearly always bothers him. The hip pointer he developed two weeks ago does not seem to help matters. However, when Iverson partially dislocated his shoulder in a collision with Knicks point guard Chris Childs last week, fans truly expected him to sit out.
Iverson, the 6-foot shooting guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, partially dislocated the shoulder December 22. He left the game, and was expected to sit out two to four weeks while his shoulder healed from the injury, which is otherwise known as a subluxation.
As fans should have expected, however, Iverson returned to the squad Wednesday night with a vengeance. Iverson racked up 29 points in the game—many of which fell in the crucial fourth quarter—to help usher in a 118-110 win over the Golden State Warriors. His return came just one week after the injury.
In a partial dislocation or subluxation, the top of the arm comes partially out of the shoulder girdle. While painful and unpleasant, a subluxation is more often an indicator of joint laxity, or looseness of the joint. The more a shoulder dislocates or subluxates, the more it is likely to do so in the future. At times, the upper arm bone can pinch a nerve or blood vessel as it is forced out, making the injury more painful or serious as it cuts off the blood supply.
Iverson, however, must have felt he was ready to return, despite the urging of the 76ers coaches and doctors that he rest it. "I really wanted to play," Iverson told Reuters. "I felt like I wasn't going to hurt myself anymore than I had."
For more information on subluxation and a stabilization procedure that aims to prevent it, click here.