By Tom Keppeler, Shoulder1 Staff
When Edmonton Oilers center Todd Marchant fell to the ice Wednesday, the way he fell lined him up perfectly for a separated shoulder.
Marchant, who has played with the Oilers since the 93-94 season, was skating up the ice with a full head of steam when Nashville Predators defenseman Cale Hulse dealt him a stiff hip check. "I just kind of rolled over [his] back and I couldn't get my arm down to brace myself," Marchant told the Associated Press. "I landed hard on my shoulder and separated it."
Separated shoulders occur most often when the shoulder receives a direct blow, and the roof of the shoulder girdle, known as the acromion, detaches from the collarbone. The injury may happen in one of three grades. Marchant suffered the worst, a third-degree separation, when the two bones are more than an inch apart.
Marchant, who has amassed seven goals and 19 assists in 45 games so far, estimates that he will be out at least a month from the injury. His lightening-fast speed may have worked against him Wednesday night—he was skating full speed when he hit the ice, worsening the injury.
Hockey, rugby and football pose a high risk for shoulder separation, as it is most often caused by a stiff blow to the shoulder. Protective padding and falling properly reduce the risk for injuring the joint. To read more about shoulder separation, click here.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.