Many people hear the term Orthopedics and don’t entirely know which parts of the body that it covers. Simply put, Orthopedics is the field of medicine dealing with the musculoskeletal system. The most common injuries that Orthopedists deal with on a day to day basis are the muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries make up a large amount of the musculoskeletal system. In this article, we’ll give a quick rundown of each of these types of injuries, what to look for, and what you can expect from treatment.
Just about everyone has experienced some sort of muscle injury whether it is a cramp or full tear. Muscle injuries broadly come in two types: acute and overuse. Acute muscle injuries come from one-time, traumatic events that damage the muscle, whereas overuse injuries are exactly what they sound like and come from repeated strain to a muscle over long periods. Some common muscle injuries are to the arm, hamstring, and groin. Muscle injuries can vary in nature but the most common type that people seek medical opinions on are strains. Strains are not severe injuries and usually can be fixed with rest, ice, and compression. More severe muscle injuries can include ruptures or complete tears. In these cases, surgery or more intensive recovery methods and outpatient physical therapy like at Action Physical Therapy may be needed. Overall, almost all muscle injuries can be fully recovered from with time.
Bone Injuries and Physical Therapy
Most people are familiar with what types of injuries are associated with bones: breaks and fractures. Like the other types of injuries, there are numerous bone related conditions and medical issues that exist, but for most people they will only need medical attention for bones because of a break or fracture. In nearly all cases, a bone breaking or fracturing can be healed with minimal difficulty and patients can expect a full recovery. The severity of a break or fracture can vary, but resetting them and giving them support and time to heal is oftentimes more than enough to fix the issue. In rare cases, surgery may be called for to properly fix the break and allow for it to heal completely.
Tendons help connect bones to muscle and facilitate joint movement. Typically, tendon injuries result from overuse and occur as people get older, but they can also come from traumatic events. Tendonitis, ruptures, and tears are all injury types that can happen to tendons. Physical therapy is often needed for people to heal from more serious tendon injuries, and surgery is often required for ruptures and tears, but many tendon injuries can be healed with rest and time. Doctor’s will often require imaging tests to determine the nature and severity of tendon issues and they are usually marked by pain, swelling, and tenderness depending on the type.
Ligaments connect bones to other bones and are essential for our mobility and motor function. Ligaments are strong, but they are still susceptible to injury from extreme stress or long-term wear and tear. Usually, ligament tears are the most common, and effect athletes at any especially high rate. Anybody who has played or watched sports has certainly heard of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and other common injuries to ligaments in the knees. For these, and most torn ligament cases, surgery is often needed. However, with successful surgery and proper rehabilitation at Action Physical Therapy most people regain full function and strength in the affected area. For minor cases rest is once again the secret recipe for a good recovery.