by Premier Hospitals | March 23, 2020 |
Orthopaedic diseases are those which affect the Musculoskeletal system. This system consists of muscles, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Medical conditions related to the musculoskeletal system include injury, infection or inflammation related to bones, muscles with their respective tendons, joint structures such as ligaments, and menisci. Injury and diseases can cause pain, swelling, limited movement, joint instability and muscle weakness.
Chronic orthopaedic diseases such as arthritis and bursitis mostly affect the bones or joints. They can cause pain and dysfunction that interfere even with regular daily activities. These conditions are different from orthopaedic injuries such as shoulder dislocation or broken bones, which are often caused by sudden trauma. Unlike accidental or traumatic orthopaedic injuries, chronic conditions are usually progressive. They start slowly and worsen over time. They can be genetic, age-related, or due to performing repetitive work. If you experience pain after sudden movements, accidents, or falls, you need to get an orthopaedic examination done. Orthopaedic doctors advise not to self treat or wait for orthopaedic injuries to worsen, as doing so shall lead to permanent/irreversible damage.
This blog from Premier Hospital helps you know the most common orthopaedic injuries and conditions. By identifying this, you can easily understand when it's time to see your orthopaedic surgeon.
Common Orthopaedic Injuries:
Here are the most common orthopaedic injuries and what to expect if you suffer from one of these injuries:
- Shoulder dislocation: Injuries can lead to shoulder dislocation and subluxation. This can occur because of an accident, excessive sports, or any other contact injury. Once a shoulder dislocates, there is a risk of repeated dislocation. In severe cases, surgery is needed.
- Stress fracture: These fractures are rarely diagnosed because people do not have the same pain as traditional fractures. They are caused by too much repetitive stress. and occur most often on the insoles and ankles. Treatment requires rest and sometimes surgery.
- Wrist fracture: A fall on the outstretched hand (foosh) is a common injury pattern noted because we try to break our fall by putting our hands out to stop. This often leads to wrist and forearm fractures. Depending on the injury, it may be managed with a POP slab or cast or surgery in certain cases.
- ACL tear: ACL is the main ligament of your knee and can be torn if you make abrupt and uncomfortable bends with your knee. Pain and instability when standing are important signs. Rest and physical therapy can help cure ACL tears, but severe tears require surgery.
- Compression fracture: A compression fracture is a crack in the bone due to pressure on them, that can cause bone collapse. It is most common in the bones that support the spine, and osteoporosis is the most common cause of compression fractures.
- Sprain: Sprain injuries are usually the result of sudden joint movements outside the normal range of motion. It can cause the ligaments to stretch or tear. Symptoms include swelling, bruising, and pain. Sports lovers and athletes tend to experience sprains.
- Ankle and foot sprain: It is very common. Rest, ice, and compression are usually good enough to treat, but sometimes the damage can be severe enough to need a POP slab or surgery.
You don't have to play tennis to get this injury. Repeated weight-bearing on the wrist and arm in awkward positions can cause this. The tendons around the elbows are irritated and cause pain. Rest is usually the best way to overcome the problem.
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fascia is a ligament that attaches toes and heel of the foot. When stressed, it causes severe pain, swelling, etc. There are several surgical options, but better shoes, rest, and reduced activity are the first treatment options.
- Rotator cuff tear: Shoulder has a rotator cuff tear that allows the joint to move in a circular motion. If the rotator cuff gets stressed, it can tear and cause severe pain and limited movement. Depending on the level of damage, rest and braces can help. Sometimes surgery is needed.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: If you write a lot or use your hands for repetitive movements, the ligaments and tendons in your hand can get inflamed. It compresses the nerves in your hand and causes pain or numbness. Braces, physiotherapy, and medication usually help.
Knee cartilage, called the meniscus, allows your feet to move easily. Uncomfortable movements when planting feet can cause the menisci to tear. Physiotherapy and rest are the first treatment options unless the tear is severe. Then surgery is needed.
Common orthopaedic problems include:
- Arthritis: This is a chronic and long-lasting orthopaedic condition where you see swelling or inflammation in one or more joints in the body. This condition is inherently painful and gradually gets worse. It usually affects the elderly and worsens with age, which in turn causes stiffness in the joints and limits the routine movements of your body.
- Osteoporosis: This is a degenerative joint disease that causes extreme pain and discomfort in the bones and joints of the body. Seen commonly in the elderly, this disease involves damage and a decrease in the overall quality of bones and joints in the affected area.
- Lower back pain: This condition refers to periods of pain and discomfort in the lower spine. This condition is quite common. The person usually complains of the back becoming stiff due to the pain. It can often prevent you from carrying out your routine activities.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an orthopaedic disease in which certain joints swell severely, accompanied by small bumps in the affected area. In adults, this disorder can last for a lifetime and gets worse over time if left untreated.
Loss of muscle tissue that causes weakness and limited movement. It can happen when not in use, e.g., if you're on a bed for a longer time or with damage to nerves that control muscle movements.
- Fibromyalgia: Chronic muscle pain syndrome with no known cause or treatment. It is considered a soft tissue inflammatory condition and can cause pain in the muscles, often accompanied by unbearable fatigue; Symptoms can fluctuate with alternate increase and decrease for no apparent reason.
- Musculoskeletal cancer: A malignant disease of one of the tissues or structures of the musculoskeletal system. Examples are osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and chondrosarcoma (cartilage cancer).
- Orthopaedic, autoimmune disease: Occurs when the immune system mistakenly starts attacking its healthy cells and tissues. Autoimmune diseases that can affect the musculoskeletal system include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
- Osteomalacia: Which causes the softening of adult bones. It leads to muscle weakness, bent legs, bone pain, and broken bones. The most common cause of this condition is due to Vitamin D deficiency.
- Osteomyelitis: Infection of the bones
- Pinched nerves: Occur when the nerve root of the spine is pressed or irritated. At the nerve root, the spinal cord branches off from the spinal cord and emerges from the spine between the two vertebrae. If there is decrease in the intervertebral space due to spine problems, then the nerves can get pinched.
- Tendonitis: Inflammation and tendon irritation. It is a form of overload injury due to repetitive movements or force.
Inflammation of the tendon sheath. Tendons are durable connective tissue bands that attach muscles to bones. The tendon, which runs through a bony tunnel like a wrist, is surrounded by a sheath. This sheath allows the tendon to move smoothly through the tunnel.
Some orthopaedic diseases can be cured completely, while others may need long term treatment. However, pain relief can be achieved. Accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment can help reduce symptoms, even in progressive conditions. Treatment recommendations depend on the type and severity of your disease. Treatment ranges from the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to major surgeries.
At the first sign of bone, joint, or muscle problems, it is best to go to the doctor. Overuse is a leading cause for many of these conditions. However, it's better to rule out a more severe injury as soon as possible than to wait and risk the problem to get worse. If a severe injury occurs that affects parts of the musculoskeletal system, such as broken bones and joint displacement, contact an orthopaedic doctor at Premier Hospital
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