Sprained, Tears or Fractured?

Sports injuries are inevitable at some point in time of your life. After a hard training session or a game of your favourite sports, there will definitely be those post game aches and pain that you will suffer which are perfectly normal. In unwanted cases, you could have landed badly from a jump or fell awkwardly on your shoulders, resulting in a swollen ankle or shoulder. You try to self medicate but what injury is it exactly? Is it a sprain, muscle tear or a fracture? How do you differentiate them from one another?

Sprains

A sprain occurs when you stretch or partially tear the fibrous tissues or more commonly known as your ligaments. They occur mostly in places such as your ankles and wrists. Ligaments helps to connect the connective tissues from your bones to your joints. There are three degrees of sprains namely the first, second and third degree. Some signs of sprains include pain, bruising, tenderness, inflammation, swelling and immobility of the affected area. Sprains can usually heal on their own but more serious sprains may require surgery. Always see a doctor if the pain is excruciating or you suffer from numbness in the area which could imply something more serious.

Tears

Muscle tear or commonly known as muscle strain implies that you have torn a muscle or a tissue called tendons. They occur most commonly in places such as the hamstring which is located at the back of you thigh. Muscle tear can cause severe pain and inability to walk or carry out normal functions properly. They are commonly caused by over use of muscles, suddenly pulling of the affected tissues and cyclic cycles of muscles.

Fracture

Fractures are probably the most serious as compared to tears and sprains. A fracture implies that there is a broken or cracked bone involved. Fractures are extremely serious injuries and you must seek a doctor immediately. Common symptoms include difficulty in breathing, loss of mobility at the affected area, fingers or toes turning blue due to lack of blood flow and seeing a bone sticking through the skin. There are two types of fractures namely the acute and stress fractures. Simple acute fractures are caused by a sudden hard blow to the bone resulting in the bone breaking, causing injury only to the bone and not to the surrounding tissues. If you see a bone sticking through your skin, you have a compound acute fracture which will cause infection to the surrounding tissues and are much more serious. Stress fractures are normally from repeated stress on your affected area mainly caused by sports or gymnastics.

Now that you know what sports injury you are suffering from, you can do the necessary R.I.C.E actions and seek a doctor if you need to. There are so many different sports injuries and above are only three of them. Always consult a doctor if you are unsure as wrong self mediation can further aggravate the injury.

Effects on Joints and Skeleton Integrity – Golf

After seeing the wonders of Tiger Woods in the golfing world, many people are suddenly interested in the sport and it has seen a huge growth not only in America but also around the world. People from young to old are starting to learn how to play golf and well to do parents are also forcing their kids to learn golf as it is seen as a game that rich businessmen sign contracts over. However with the increasing in golfers, there is also an increase in injuries related to golf. What are they?

Shoulder injuries

Shoulder injuries especially to the muscles and tendons are extremely common due to overuse. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can cause a slight strain to a complete tear. Golf requires the use of the rotator cuff muscles during the swinging of the club and over prolonged usage of them, inflammation can occur, causing pain and tenderness. Amateur golfers are at a higher risk as they use their rotator cuff muscles much more than professional golfers due to incorrect swinging techniques.

Golfer’s elbow

Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow just that they are caused by 2 different sports and the location of the pain differs. Golfer’s elbow are caused by overuse and cyclic loading of the tendons and it will result in inflammation, causing immense pain to the player. Pain will be felt at the elbow joint inside of the arm and it will cause a sharp pain even during simple task like squeezing something.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis affects the tendons that are at your thumb and will cause immense pain whenever you try to move your wrist or clench your fingers together. They are caused by repeated hand movement such as swinging the golf club for a prolonged period of time.

Trigger finger

Trigger finger occurs when an attempt to bend the finger towards the palm, the finger is locked in the position due to the tendon getting stuck. Trigger finger are common in people who frequently uses their hands repeatedly and can cause swelling of the tendons in the fingers, causing it to get locked in the opening of the sheath.

Knee injuries

Knee injuries can occur when the golfer swings the club and it results in a rotation of the knee, causing huge stress on the ligaments and the stress can cause the anterior cruciate ligament to tear. Depending on the power of the turn, it can even cause meniscus tear.

Injuries associated with golf are common and are increasing mainly due to the increase in number of golfers nowadays. As mentioned above, most injuries are caused by repeatedly usage and incorrect usage of various muscle groups. Do take care when you are playing and give your body plenty of rest in-between golfing sessions.

Effects on joints and skeleton integrity – Tennis

Every guy aspires to be like Roger Federer and every woman aspires to be like Serena Williams. Who are those people you may ask Well, they are the world number one for tennis respectively for their gender. Tennis is a popular sport that is extremely high impact and high intensity, and there are numerous start stop throughout the game, making it an excellent sport not only to lose body fats but also to strengthen and work out the entire body. Every part of your body is involved in this sport. You need your leg muscles to run about and jump when you serve, receive and smash. You need your arm and shoulder muscles to serve and return the ball.

Ligaments

As mentioned above, tennis is a high impact sport that will cause damages to your ligaments after prolonged play. It is inevitable as you will be repeatedly jumping up and down, landing in different directions and load each time. This will place tremendous stress on your knee ligaments and over time, it will degrade. Improper landing techniques or sudden twisting motions can cause the ligaments to tear.

Tennis elbow

Tennis elbow like its name suggest is a problem to your elbow caused by tennis. Specifically, it involves the tendons that are outside of your elbow whose function is to cock the wrist back to its original position. Since the wrist is repeatable used throughout the game, micro tears can occur in the tendons which do not have the chance to heal.

Tennis toe

As the saying goes, the ball does not grow any eye and can go in all direction. This is very true for tennis and the ball can go in any direction, resulting in you needing to make sudden direction change which will cause your toes to keep pushing against your shoe, causing immense pressure on your toes. Over time, it can cause toe damage or otherwise commonly known as tennis toe.

Bones

However, there are benefits associated with tennis too! Since tennis is an all rounded sport, every single part of your body is involved throughout the entire game. Tennis utilises lots of the muscle’s phasic fibers and it can increase your stamina and endurance levels. As your body will constantly bear load throughout the game, it will help to build up your bone density, greatly reducing the risk of contracting osteoporosis.

Tennis is a high impact sport with a high risk of injuries due to its nature. However, many people still play it regularly to not only keep fit but to challenge their body to its limits. If you take sufficient precautions, you are able to avoid most injuries. Make sure to give your body sufficient rest between games to allow proper recovery of your muscles and tendons.

When to seek an Orthopaedic?

People often associate karang-guni men with old, dirty, unwanted stuffs. Same goes for orthopaedic surgeons, people associate them with fractures and ligaments. It is not just about fractures and ligaments. They do more than that and they are the experts when it comes to our musculoskeletal system which consists of all the bones and muscles in our body. As long as you suffer from any injury to your bones and muscles, you need to seek help from an orthopaedic doctor.

Orthopaedic surgeons are specialists and they do not attend to common illnesses such as your common cold or fever although they are trained to. When you suffer from a musculoskeletal injury, you may or may not have the chance to see an orthopaedic doctor depending on the injury suffered. Your friendly General Practitioner is trained and equipped to handle ankle sprains. However, if you are suffering from a suspected torn ligament, broken arm or arthritis, you need an orthopaedic immediately. Below are some common instances when you will make a good friend in an orthopaedic doctor.

Sports injuries

If you are an active sportsman and you participate in high impact contact sports, you have a high chance to make a new friend. High impact contact sports increases the chances of one suffering from a torn ligament, torn meniscus, dislocated arm, muscle strains and pulls as well as common knee and elbow injuries.

Bone tumors

Orthopaedic specialists only deal with bone tumors and not tumors that grow elsewhere. Bone tumors will need to be removed surgically and since orthopaedic doctors are best in matters regarding the bone, they make the ideal and only choice. While the main motive is to remove the tumor on the bone, mobility cannot be affected as a result of that.

Arthritis

Arthritis sufferers are gradually increasing and arthritis cases will need to be attended to by orthopaedic doctors. If it is not treated or treated incorrectly, it can lead to pain and inflammation to the joints, causing immobility issues. Simple daily activities such as walking and even brushing of teeth and washing of face can be an issue.

Orthopaedic doctors are specialists in their own field and patients will need to see them for most musculoskeletal injuries. Minor ones such as a sprained ankle can be treated by a General Practitioner but if it develops into more serious complications, it is advisable to seek an orthopaedic doctor immediately. No matter how big or small an injury may seem, you should not self medicate and self treat as musculoskeletal injuries are often more serious than it looks.

Types of Meniscal Repair for Tears & Injuries

The meniscus is a very important structure. It distributes our weight evenly across the knee joint and without it; the weight would be uneven and will lead to arthritis of our knee joint. Injuries to the meniscus are especially common in young patients who are athletically active below the age of 25 years, especially those who are involved in high pivoting sports such as soccer and basketball.

Treatment for meniscal tears would depend on the type of tear, how big it is and where is it at. If the tear is located at the outer edge, a meniscus repair surgery will be carried out as there is a rich supply of blood which will heal on its own after surgery. However if the tear is located at the central portion to the inner portion, meniscus repair will not be performed as the area lacks blood supply and without blood, there are no nutrients. As a result, the tears will not heal and are usually trimmed away during surgery.

Taking into consideration factors such as age, activity level and type of tear, the doctor is able to advise on the most appropriate form of treatment.

Non Surgical Treatment

If the size of the tear is small and is at the outer side of the meniscus, repair surgery is not required. If the knee is still stable, non surgical treatment is the best option.

RICE is the easiest and most effective treatment for most injuries.

Rest. Stop whatever activities you are doing immediately especially the one that caused the injury. Crutches may be used to relieve weight on the injured leg.

Ice. Usage of ice packs for 20 minutes a time throughout the day will relieve swelling and pain.

Compression. An elastic compression sleeve is worn to prevent blood loss and to decrease the swelling.

Elevation. Keeping the injured leg above the heart level when at rest reduces swelling.

Non steroid anti inflammatory medicine.

The doctor will also prescribe anti inflammatory medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce pain as well as swelling.

Surgical treatment

If non surgical treatment fails, arthroscopic surgery is the only way out. Knee arthroscopy surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgery in the world and small incisions will be made on the knee to place a miniature camera in it to allow a clear view of the insides. Small surgical instruments will be placed in the other incisions and the tear is either trimmed or repaired depending on the type of tear and the severity.

Meniscal tears are common knee injuries. With the proper care and treatment given, patients will have little problem returning back to pre-injury capabilities.

Could Knee Injury Cause Knee Arthritis?

Question

I twisted and sprained my knee badly back in high school. I read once that having a bad knee injury can cause knee arthritis later in life. If so, I’m wondering if there is anything I can do now so I don’t end up with knee arthritis.

Answer

People who have had a significant injury of the knee joint may have a greater risk for knee arthritis in later years. Prevention includes safe exercises that focus on improving and maintaining joint movement and muscle strength.

Stay active in a low-impact conditioning program, such as walking. To help reduce shock with day-to-day activities, wear supportive shoes, and consider the addition of an insole to help absorb shock. Walk on soft surfaces when possible, and avoid standing and walking for long periods on hard surfaces, such as cement. You might also consider choosing sport and recreational activities that don’t require cutting, jumping, and quick starts and stops. The time and effort you invest now to improve the health of your knee and avoid future problems are worth it.

Am I Able to Gain my Balance Back, after a Ligament surgery?

Question:

I tore my anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) playing basketball, and I’m having surgery to reconstruct the ligament. Can I expect to get my balance back?

Answer:

The outlook is good. Researchers recently observed patients who had ACL surgery followed by five weeks of wearing either a cast or a brace. Patients also had six to eight months of therapy to get their agility and strength back. Three years after surgery, these patients did as well on tests of balance as people who didn’t have ACL problems. Patients who had ACL surgery had slightly slower reaction times, but in general their balance was just as good.

Ask your doctor or physical therapist about ways to manage your knee after surgery to ensure a full recovery.

How successful is surgery for shin splints?

Question: 

How successful is surgery for shin splints?

Answer:

There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Although some people are helped by surgery for shin splints, surgery is not always successful. Pain is often relieved without surgery.

Other treatment options can be tried before surgery. These include the use of orthotic inserts. Orthotics help stabilize the ankle joint and keep the foot from rolling inward. They can also be designed to help absorb shock. Training for strength, agility, and flexibility before and during the sports season also reduces shin splints among athletes.

Will I develop arthritis if i had a fall during my secondary school days?

Question:

I fell and hurt my knee pretty bad back in high school. Will I be more likely to develop arthritis in my knee as I get older?

Answer:

Just because you injured your knee does not mean you’ll have problems as you age. However, significant injuries to the knee and hip have been found to increase the risk of osteoarthritis in these joints. Researchers tracked 1,337 medical students over a period of nearly twenty years to see whether people with knee or hip injuries would eventually have problems with osteoarthritis. They found that a higher percentage of people with injuries of the hip or knee in the younger years ended up having arthritis in the joint they had injured. People who are at risk because of an earlier injury should consider seeking advice on ways to improve the health of their joint and to prevent problems in the future.