Coronoid Fracture: Cause & Symptoms

Coronoid fractures often happen in the ulna although they are relatively uncommon. However, coronoid fractures can be critical injuries. They usually occur in conjunction with elbow dislocations and will lead to elbow instability. The coronoid is designed to strengthen the elbow, increasing the stability. Therefore, a fracture will lead to unstable elbows and a possible loss of motion.

Traumatic elbow injuries such as a coronoid fracture will usually result in a dislocation of not only the bony structures but also injuries to the soft tissues. Very often, the posterior elbow is dislocated and managing it is extremely difficult. Unlike other fractures, coronoid fractures do not respond well to close reduction or splinting.

Causes

Coronoid fracture usually comes hand in hand with an elbow dislocation as dislocation itself involves a large energy impact onto the surrounding bones and soft tissues, leading to several severe soft tissue injuries. This usually happens during high impact sports such as rugby or accidents. One of the most common cause is a fall from a certain height, landing on an outstretched arm when trying to break the fall. The main mechanism involves a combination of twisting and flexing. When the elbow is loaded axially, it is in its weakest state and will lead to the weakening of the coronoid.

Symptoms

Patients suffering from coronoid fractures often have the following symptoms. Patients will be in tremendous pain with diffuse swelling and tenderness. The level of tenderness can be multifocal and depends of the area of injury. Range of motion including flexing, extension and rotation will be severely limited or totally impossible.

Complications

Coronoid fractures may lead to complications if it is not treated properly. The ends of broken bones are sharp and they can cut and tear surrounding blood vessels, nerves and tendons. Fractures may also lead to excessive bleeding and swelling in the elbow region, causing blood clot formation and the disruption of normal blood flow to the rest of the arm. This will lead to a loss of sensation and even function of the arm, requiring emergency attention.

Management

Patients suffering from coronoid fractures will have unstable elbows and it can be fixed by suturing the bone and anterior capsule to the anterior ulna. Surgery will involve either internal fixation or replacement of the fractured radial heads. The injured ligaments need to be surgically reconstructed and if the elbow is still unstable, hinged external fixation will be required.

Patellar Dislocation: Causes and Prevention

Patellar or kneecap dislocations are injuries that occur with significant regularity, especially in young and active teens. Most injuries occur laterally and are accompanied by severe pain and swelling. The immediate remedial action following a patellar dislocation is to relocate the kneecap back to the trochlear groove. This is often performed without you even knowing it as it automatically pops in when u straighten you leg.

Patellar dislocations can happen for various reasons, ranging from contact to non-contact scenarios. An athlete involved in impact or contact sports can suffer from it due to a sudden change in direction, causing a twisting action on the kneecap and a subsequent dislocation. This is classified as non-contact since it does not involve a third party. One of the pre-requisites for this to happen is the existence of a weak knee ligament to hold the knee properly in place. Another method is a direct impact onto the knee, causing a much more serious injury. This will cause the surrounding muscles and tissues to be damaged rather heavily as well.

Patellar dislocations can be prevented by performing simple strengthening exercises. Strong knee muscles can help to significantly reduce the recovery time, experience lesser pain and be at a lower risk of injuries. There are 4 main muscle groups in the knee that should be targeted and they are the front thigh muscles, back thigh muscles, buttock muscles and lower leg muscles. The front thigh muscles or quadriceps muscles straighten your leg whenever they contract and they help to ensure that your patellar is in the proper position at the thigh bone. It also works hand in hand with the hamstring muscles. The back thigh muscles which are the hamstring muscles help in knee flexion, extension, transfer of energy and forward propulsion. Strong hamstring muscles can help to perform all these roles much more effectively and prevent injuries. The buttock muscles or gluteal muscles help to bend and flex the hip joint to allow us to perform actions such as walking, jumping and running with ease. A weak gluteal muscle will result in the inability to provide the explosive power and lead to a higher risk of injuries. Last but not least are the lower leg muscles or the calf muscles. It runs from the back of the leg all the way until the ankle. Strong calf muscles help to lift the feet up with minimal effort and support the knees and hips. Since the entire body weight is acting on the calf muscles, weak ones will cause the knee and hip muscles to have to take over this role and increase the risk of injuries.

Patellar dislocations are nasty injuries that will cause a lot of discomfort and disrupt to daily activities. Studies have shown that the risk of recurrent dislocations is high once a patellar dislocation occurs and this will result in problems if you wish to continue playing sports.

Top 3 Most Common Elbow Injuries

Our elbow is basically a joint in which the humerus bone, ulna bone and the radius bone is connected together to form a joint that functions like a hinge. The radius bone and the ulna bone also enable the elbow to rotate around the forearm. The main function of the elbow is to move forward and back as well as rotate around. Tendons are connected to the elbow and they can be easily injured either due to a sudden impact or due to ageing. The elbow is one of the most easily injured parts of the body as it is like a ball and socket joint in which the ball can easily slip out of the socket. Let’s look at some of the common elbow injuries.

Dislocation

Elbow dislocation is one of the few serious elbow injuries that can be sustained. Dislocation is often caused by trauma or injury such as a sudden impact from full contact sports such as rugby or high falls from activities such as rock climbing. The patient will suffer an immediate loss of motion in the elbow and severe pain. Depending on the severity, the elbow may even look like it is deformed due to the bones sticking out. The bones will need to be rejoined back in the shortest possible time. Most people will try to push back the bone but this is a huge mistake as it should only be performed by highly trained medical personnel under sedation to prevent further damages to the surrounding tendons.

Fracture

Fracture is another serious elbow injury and the symptoms are similar to a dislocation. It is also caused by sudden impact or fall from great heights and landing on a hand, causing the elbow to fracture. Patients will suffer a loss in range of motion but not as much as a dislocation. In more severe cases, patients may even experience numbness and this can indicate possible nerve damages. Since fractures are cracks in the bone, patients can experience a loss in blood circulation and this can be easily diagnosed by a lower temperature in the injured area or a weakened pulse.

Olecranon Bursitis

Patients who are suffering from Olecranon Bursitis will experience swelling at the elbow and will feel pain with every movement. Olecranon Bursitis is due to the inflammation of the bursa and this is often caused by overuse of the elbow or infection. This is usually due to prolonged periods of leaning on the elbow with the whole body weight leaning on it.

Elbow injuries are inevitable at some point in time of your life. However, the elbow is a part of our body which is heavily used daily and if we fail to take good care of it, it will cause much inconvenience to our daily lives.

 

Introduction to Various Shoulder Injuries

Our shoulder is a very delicate and complex component of our body that is kept together by bones, tendons and muscles. A shoulder injury is very painful and can cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to us. There are many different kinds of shoulder injuries and they are caused by different reasons such as strain, cyclic motion and injuries.

Rotator cuff strain

Rotator cuff strain is a common injury which is due to an inflammation of a tendon located in the shoulder. 4 muscles make up the rotator cuff namely the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. The most common reason for a rotator cuff strain is because of insufficient warm up prior to the start of an activity or overload of the muscles. Poor posture and accidentally falls causing you to land on your shoulders can also cause rotator cuff strain. A strain can slowly evolve into a tear if it is left untreated. For immediate treatment, RICE is sufficient. If symptoms get worse, consult a doctor immediately.

Dislocation

Our shoulder joint is an unstable joint due to the functions of it. The shoulder joint can be described as a ball and socket joint and the ball is the arm bone and the socket is the shoulder blade. It is the part of our body which has the most motion compared to all other joints. It is because of this fact that causes instability to the area. Instability can get worse when the ligaments are overstretched and are unable to hold the ball and socket firmly in place. Dislocation of the shoulder joint can occur due to injuries or trauma, causing the ball to go out of the socket.

Impingement

Impingement of the shoulder joint occurs when the supraspinatus, bicep tendons, bursa and subacromial are compressed over time, causing inflammation. It is due to repeated overhead usage of the shoulder joints. Activities which causes these include swimming and overhead press. To prevent impingement, you should allow adequate rest period between activities and strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles to allow it to take more load.

Tendonitis

Our muscles are connected to the bones through connective tissues called tendons and tendonitis is an inflammation of these tendons. The tendons that are most susceptible are the biceps tendons as well as the rotator cuff muscles. Tendonitis are usually caused by overuse, pulling or over-compression of the tendons, causing pain, tenderness and discomfort. To prevent tendonitis, ensure that proper warm up of the whole body is done and add on weights gradually to allow the body to adapt to it.

Above are 4 shoulder injuries that are frequently experienced by people. Our shoulder is an integral part of our daily life and any injuries to it will cause great discomfort and inconvenience our lives. They can be easily reduced by doing proper stretching, gradually load up and sufficient rest periods between activities.