A 21-year-old boxer recently underwent a procedure for a rare injury he sustained while playing the sport.
Balaji, the son of a taxi driver from Neyveli, is a student at a city college. He is a gold medalist at various university-level boxing competitions. He suffered a shoulder dislocation in December while participating in a competitive event.
Shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, where a cartilage runs 360 degrees in the socket. When the shoulder dislocates, the cartilage tears. This is called a Bankart injury. For Balaji, not only did the tissue tear but the socket sustained a fracture. It is called a bony Bankart (named after the Frenchman Bankart).
Mr. Balaji won a bronze medal at an event despite repeated dislocations. At an inter-university event in Jalandhar in December 2021, though he won the first set, he could not continue due to repeated dislocation of the joint. When traditional healing methods did not help, he was referred to the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, where G. Leonard Ponraj, head of the Department of Arthroscopy and Sports Injury, treated him.
“In the MRI and CT scan, we found he had a bony fracture. This is a unique case. In my private practice of 20 years, I have done only six bony Bankart procedures, and this is the first to be fixed in one of the State’s government hospitals,” Dr. Leonard said. “Because he repeatedly played with a bony Bankart, he had multiple injuries. It was a very rare injury, and the surgery was equally complex and challenging,” he said.
With enough rehabilitation, Mr. Balaji would be able to participate in the next tournament in December, Dr. Leonard added.