Orthopedic injuries happen to the musculoskeletal system, and thus range from simple strains to broken bones. These injuries can be the result of overuse, athletic training issues or falls and other accidents. Doctors treat a wide variety of orthopedic injuries in different ways. We’ve put together a brief overview of the most common ones and what we might do to treat them.
A sprain happens when a ligament at a joint is stretched or torn, usually from the joint being pushed outside its range of motion. The most commonly affected joints are the wrist or ankle. A sprain results in pain, bruising, swelling and loss of motion in the joint. It is typically treated with rest, ice, compression and, depending on severity, physical therapy to restore motion to the joint.
Strains are similar to sprains, but happen when a muscle is stretched or torn. They are commonly referred to as a pulled muscle. Although strains can happen to any muscle, they are most often seen in the back, neck, shoulder or hamstring. Not warming up before physical activity, poor flexibility or conditioning, or simply lifting something that is too heavy can cause a muscle strain. Symptoms include a sudden onset of pain, muscle spasms, swelling and bruising, stiffness or weakness and limited mobility. Treatment of strains is similar to sprains.
A fracture is a break to a bone, most often cause by a fall or colliding with something. Stress fractures happen when you put constant pressure on a bone, and are a common injury for runners. A compound fracture is one that breaks the skin, with bone visible.
Fractures typically result in pain and swelling as well as the limb being crooked, and can also cause numbness, tingling and problems moving. Fractures are a medical emergency as they have to be treated promptly to heal correctly. They are treated by straightening the bone and then applying a cast or splint. Some fractures may require surgery, followed by physical therapy to ensure correct healing of the soft tissue around the bone.
A dislocation happens when the ends of your bones by a joint are pushed out of position, typically from a fall or blow. Dislocated joints are extremely painful, swollen and visibly deformed. They often can’t be moved. Dislocations require immediate medical treatment, which consists of manipulating the joint back in place, using a splint or sling to support it and potentially physical therapy.
Treatment at Missouri Orthopedics
Whether you are experiencing one of these common orthopedic injuries or something more complex, our team at Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine is here to help. We tailor treatment and rehabilitation to the specific needs of each patient. Don’t let an injury or joint pain ruin your life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.