Orthopedic injuries are amongst the most common reasons for emergency room visits, and rightfully so, the sooner the injury is diagnosed and treated the greater the chances of a positive outcome.
The most common types of orthopedic injuries and pains include:
- Sprains and Strains
- Sports-Related Injuries
What Causes Orthopedic Pain or Injury?
There are many factors that could result in Orthopedic Injury, most pain is caused by:
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are often the result of physical activity, sprains occur at the joint and affect the ligaments responsible for connecting one bone to another. Strains, on the other hand, affect the tendons and muscles which connect muscles to the bones.
A sprain can occur when a joint is twisted while bearing some weight, the joints most affected by this type of injury are the wrist, ankle, knee, but, any joint in the body is susceptible to suffer this type of injury.
Sprains occur when too much force is placed on a muscle, this usually occurs when lifting heavy weights, but repetitive movements, overuse of a muscle or training beyond the physical ability of the muscle can also result in a sprain.
Applying excessive force to a bone will cause it to snap or shatter. Some fractures will break the bone completely, others will cause the bone to just crack.
Broken bones are often the result of falls and traumatic injuries such as collisions during sports or in a vehicle. However, some health conditions like osteoporosis or osteogenesis imperfecta can weaken the bones and cause them to break easily.
Practicing a sport is a great way to maintain optimal physical condition, but, because of they often require rigorous training, high-intensity exercises, a lot of flexibility and bodily strain, athletic activities carry a higher risk of injury.
Most orthopedic sports injuries are caused by poor training practices, not using the appropriate footwear and other gear, not warming up or stretching before and after the physical activity and of course accidents.
Diagnosing Orthopedic Injuries and Pains
When you first arrive at one of our centers, one of our expert orthopedic physicians will ask a series of questions related to the injury at the same time they will perform a physical examination of the injured area.
To properly diagnose the type and severity of the injury our doctors may request X-Rays or a CT Scan of the area. Your best bet at a fast recovery is to visit an ER that has on-site imaging capacity.
All of our Altus Emergency locations are fully equipped with on-site digital X-Ray and CT Scan capacity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sprains and Strains
Doctors will prescribe medication to alleviate the pain and help reduce the swelling, mild sprains and strains will heal with the RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) more severe injuries may require the use of braces or a soft cast which our centers will facilitate.
Most bone fractures will heal on their own, the purpose of medical treatment is to ensure the bone fragments are properly aligned so it can heal completely and recover proper sensitivity and movement, for this purpose doctors may prescribe the following treatments:
- Splints – To immobilize the broken bone
- Braces – To support the injured bone
- Plaster Cast – To support and immobilize the fractured area
- Prescription Medication – To ease the pain and inflammation
More severe fractures may require surgical treatment to reconstruct the bone, for this, the orthopedic surgeons may insert metal rods or plates, or place pins into the fractured bone.
When to Go to The Emergency Room
You should seek immediate emergency medical attention if:
- There is an open wound close to the site of a possible fracture
- You experience severe pain that does not respond to over the counter medication and ice packs
- Your suspect you may suffering a concussion due to head trauma
- If there is an obvious deformity at the site of the injury which may indicate a bone fracture
- Loss of mobility in a joint
- Skin feels cold and appears to change color to blue or gray
- There is severe swelling