orthopedic injuries

The musculoskeletal system encompasses the bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, joints, and connective tissues. This framework supports the body’s weight, helps maintain posture and aids in movement.

When the musculoskeletal system is injured, it is typically known as an orthopedic injury. Normally, orthopedic injuries occur as a result of trauma, or an accident to one or more elements of the musculoskeletal system. In some cases, orthopedic injuries are due to systemic damage.

Common Orthopedic Injuries

Orthopedic injuries may be sports related, a work-related injury, a fall, car accident, or even a physical attack. The most common orthopedic injuries that podiatrists treat include:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis. When the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot which attaches the heel to the toes becomes overly stretched or injured, inflammation and severe pain due to plantar fasciitis can occur.
  2. Ankle Sprains. When the strong bands of ligaments that bind and support the ankle become overly stretched, or tear, and ankle sprain can occur. Ankle sprains that are not properly treated may lead to additional ankle sprains and ankle weakness.
  3. Ankle or Foot Strains. These types of injuries occur when a muscle or tendon is stretched beyond its normal limits, or torn.
  4. Stress Fractures. Placing too much repeated stress, or wear and tear on the bones of the foot and lower leg can result in a fracture: a tiny crack in the bone.
  5. Dislocations. This painful injury occurs when the end of a bone pops out, or dislocates, from its joint.
  6. Cartilage Damage. Orthotic injuries can occur in cartilage as well, such as Osteoarthritis—which affects and deteriorates cartilage in joints, or, a meniscus tear (cartilage in the knee).
  7. ACL tear. The main ligament in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be torn due to sudden, abrupt, or awkward changes in direction or twists and turns.

Treatments for Orthopedic Injuries

Treatment for orthopedic injuries vary depending on the type, and severity of the injury. 

Ankle and foot sprains and strains can sometimes be treated with the RICE method (rest/ice/compression/elevation) if they are mild, while physical therapy, rest and stabilizing devices can be used to help heal a torn meniscus or ACL. Plantar fasciitis may be treated with orthotics, night splints, steroids or shock wave therapy, and symptoms of osteoarthritis can sometimes be alleviated with physical therapy, orthotics, braces, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

If these conservative forms of treatment do not produce optimal results, your podiatrist may suggest a surgical solution to provide adequate healing and relief.

Orthopedic Injuries are not to be taken lightly, and some may even require immediate medical attention. Contact our office right away to be examined, diagnosed, and treated as soon as possible if you believe you have an Orthopedic injury.