Common Orthopedic Injuries – And How They Are Treated

Orthopedic injuries can be debilitating, causing pain, discomfort, and limitations in our daily lives. When faced with orthopedic issues, it’s important to seek proper medical attention and explore the various treatment options available. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the most common non-surgical orthopedic treatments for conditions such as sprains and strains, fractures, rotator cuff injuries, ACL injuries, and tendonitis. We understand the impact these conditions can have on your quality of life, and our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and solutions to help you find relief and regain your mobility.

Common Orthopedic Injuries – And How We Treat Them

1. Sprains and Strains: Restoring Stability and Functionality

Sprains and strains are among the most common orthopedic injuries people experience. A sprain occurs when the ligaments, the tissue that connects two parts of bone, are stretched beyond their limits due to overuse or sudden force. On the other hand, strains involve similar damage but affect muscles or tendons, which connect muscles to bones. These injuries can cause swelling, pain, tenderness, and bruising in the affected area.

Treatment Options

The treatment for sprains and strains generally involves a combination of rest, ice/heat therapy, compression wraps, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy for rehabilitation purposes. Resting the injured area allows the tissues to heal, while ice and heat therapy can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Compression wraps provide support and stability, aiding in the healing process. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help manage pain and reduce inflammation. Physical therapy may be recommended for strengthening and restoring mobility in the affected area.

2. Fractures: Healing and Restoring Bone Integrity

Fractures, or broken bones, are another common orthopedic injury that can range from hairline cracks in the bone’s surface to complete breaks requiring surgery for proper healing. The severity of the fracture determines the treatment approach. Hairline cracks may only require immobilization with a cast or splint, while more serious fractures may necessitate surgical intervention.

Treatment Options

Treatment for fractures typically involves immobilizing the affected area with a cast or splint to allow the bone to heal properly. In some cases, the use of metal plates or pins may be necessary to realign and stabilize the bone during the healing process. Pain management, physical therapy, and rehabilitation exercises may also be part of the treatment plan to restore strength, flexibility, and functionality.

3. Rotator Cuff Injuries: Restoring Shoulder Mobility

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that help control shoulder movement. Rotator cuff injuries occur when one or more of these muscles or tendons become torn due to acute trauma or overuse. The most common symptom of a rotator cuff injury is impinging pain in the shoulder, which worsens with movement and improves with rest.

Treatment Options

Treatment for rotator cuff injuries varies depending on the severity of the tear. Non-surgical options often include physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, medications such as anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids to manage pain and reduce inflammation, and the use of immobilization devices like slings to provide support and promote healing. In cases where conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary to repair the torn tendon.

4. ACL Injuries: Restoring Knee Stability and Function

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a crucial ligament in the knee joint that helps maintain stability. ACL injuries often occur during sports activities that involve sudden stops and changes in direction, causing excessive strain on the ligament. Symptoms of ACL injuries include swelling, pain, instability in the knee joint, difficulty walking, and a popping sensation at the time of injury.

Treatment Options

Treatment for ACL injuries can range from conservative management to surgical intervention, depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s activity level. Minor ACL tears may be treated with rest, bracing, and physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve stability. However, more significant tears may require arthroscopic surgery, which may involve repairing the ACL or replacing it with a graft. Rehabilitation and post-operative care are essential for a successful recovery.

5. Tendonitis: Managing Inflammation and Promoting Healing

Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon, typically caused by overuse, repetitive motion, and inadequate rest. It can lead to pain, tenderness, swelling, or stiffness in the affected area. Common areas where tendonitis can occur include elbows (tennis elbow), wrists (de Quervain’s syndrome), hips (bursitis), shoulders (rotator cuff tendonitis), and knees (jumper’s knee).

Treatment Options

The treatment for tendonitis focuses on reducing inflammation, managing pain, and promoting healing. Rest and avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms are crucial for allowing the affected tendon to recover. Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve flexibility. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. In severe cases of tendonitis that do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tissue.

Conclusion

Orthopedic injuries and conditions can significantly impact our lives, causing pain, discomfort, and limitations in daily activities. However, there are various non-surgical treatment options available to address these issues and promote healing. Whether it’s sprains and strains, fractures, rotator cuff injuries, ACL injuries, or tendonitis, seeking appropriate medical attention and exploring the right treatment plan tailored to your specific needs is essential. 

Early intervention and proper rehabilitation are crucial for achieving optimal outcomes. If you’re experiencing any orthopedic issues, consult with a healthcare professional at Aligned Orthopedic Partners to discuss the best treatment options for you. Regain your mobility and live your life to the fullest with the support and guidance of orthopedic treatments.

 

Name