We ask a lot of our bodies as we move through life. From sports and exercise to unwanted accidents, there are plenty of ways in which our bodies can get hurt. While how we get injured can differ, what remains consistent are the types of injuries that we are more likely to sustain. So, what are the most common injuries reported to orthopedic doctors?
The meniscus is a small section of protective cartilage in the knee that allows our knees to move freely. A torn meniscus can be treated with physical therapy and rest, along with utilizing a stabilizing brace. But, if the tear experienced is severe, surgery can sometimes be required to repair it.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Anyone who works often behind a computer can experience pain in their hands or arms from excessive typing, especially as more of us have switched to working remotely during the pandemic, trading in-person meetings for at-home Zoom calls. Carpal Tunnel affects more than just those who type, it can affect anyone doing repetitive movements with their hands and arms. What is really happening in there? The median nerve, which runs through the wrist to the hand, can become pinched and compressed which creates weakness and numbness in the hand. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatments can include braces, therapy, and even medication.
Torn Rotator Cuff
Did you know that the shoulder has the widest range of motion of any joint in the human body? Considering all the joints in the human body, that’s impressive. The rotator cuff is a specific group of tendons and muscles in and around the shoulder that allows a fair amount of stretching to produce full motion. But, if the rotator cuff is stretched too far, it can snap or tear. Treatment can range from physical therapy to surgery for proper healing.
An injury familiar to many runners and athletes is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot that attaches the toes to the heel. If the ligament is stretched too far it can cause severe pain and swelling, especially in the heel. This is an unfortunate injury for many athletes because it does require rest and decreased activity in order to mend it. If pain still does not subside, surgery may be required to fix the injury.
Similarly, a torn ACL happens in a lot of athletes when a quick change in direction occurs. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be torn when a sudden twist happens. A torn ACL requires lots of rest and possibly physical therapy, with reparative surgery available if needed.
The name leads one to believe this type of injury can only occur while playing tennis, but this overuse injury can happen to painters, plumbers, carpenters, and even hairdressers. Resting the elbow’s tendons usually helps ease pain.
Ankle and Foot Sprains
Sprains happen when the ligament between two adjacent bones is torn either partially or fully. The RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) method is used to heal this type of injury but in more severe cases, additional treatment might be needed.
These are thin and tiny cracks in a bone that most often appear in the foot and the lower leg. They occur after too much stress and wear and tear. Many stress fractures actually heal on their own because the pain experienced keeps people from using the affected body part.
Shoulder dislocations are when the upper part of the arm bone is dislocated from the shoulder socket. If this sounds painful, that’s because it is! It also means that someone will have to put the shoulder back into the socket. Unfortunately, once this happens, the likelihood that it will happen again is common. Many car accidents, contact injuries, and a myriad of sports can lead to shoulder dislocations.
The wrist has many small bones in it, and they can easily break from impact. Oftentimes if someone is experiencing a fall, they may brace themselves with their hand or wrist, which can result in a break. Immobilization will usually fix the issue, although surgery is available as well if the break is severe.
Luckily here at medi, we have a comprehensive orthopedic line of supports and braces to help you get back to living the life you want – unhindered by pain.