I dislocated my shoulder playing football last week. I'm 18 and have my whole sports career ahead of me. What are the chances I'll dislocate my shoulder again?

Age plays a big part in whether athletes have repeat shoulder injuries. Because you're young, you're at a high risk for re-injury. Research says that up to 94 percent of athletes under age 25 who dislocate their shoulders do it more than once.

What can you do about this? Surgery is one possibility. Doctors are now using an arthroscopic procedure to treat dislocated shoulders. This procedure is less invasive than regular open surgery and seems to prevent future injuries. In a recent study of West Point cadets, 88 percent of patients who had this surgery within 10 days of injury still had stable shoulders two to five years later. And they were able to return to all their sports activities.

Talk to your doctor about how to best protect your shoulders. He or she can tell you whether surgery is an option in your case.