Orthopaedic trauma refers to injuries caused by external factors such as car accidents, major falls, sports injuries, or direct blows. On the other hand, overuse or repetitive movements can also be pinpointed as possible risk factors of orthopaedic trauma.
Orthopaedic trauma and fractures may be classified according to the body part that is affected:
Upper and lower extremity fractures: This type of orthopaedic trauma is characterised by a break or crack in the continuity of the bones of the upper or lower extremities. The bones that make up the upper extremity are the humerus, radius, ulna, and the hand; while the lower extremity consists of the femur, fibula, and the foot. Some indicators of this type of orthopaedic trauma are limited range of movement, bone distortion, inability to carry weight, and pain and swelling.
Hand fractures: The hands are composed of the small bones in the fingers that are called phalanges and the long bones in the palm that are called metacarpals. They are one of the most used bones in the human body. Hand fractures cause the bones in the hand to become broken or cracked. The following symptoms indicate a hand fracture: pain and bruising in the hand, difficulty moving the hand, particularly the affected fingers, and deformity.
Foot and ankle fractures: The ankle is made up of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. An ankle fracture happens when these bones are either broken or injured. With its function of carrying the entire body weight and enabling running and other sports activities, the ankle is vulnerable to fracture and damage. Some of the main symptoms of foot and ankle fractures are difficulty in walking, struggle in carrying weights, bruising, pain, and bone deformity in the foot or ankle.
By frequently engaging in rigorous physical activities, coupled with the day-to-day risk of sustaining injuries and developing illnesses, humans are prone to developing musculoskeletal injuries. With a wide range of injuries possible, treatments for orthopaedic trauma also vary. Common ones include:
Rest: Some of the most basic treatments for orthopaedic trauma include avoiding or reducing straining it, resting the affected area, and allowing it to heal on its own.
Orthotic devices: Orthopaedic trauma can be treated with the aid of orthotic devices. These devices include casts, slings, braces, and splints that provide stability for injuries like minor fractures and dislocations, and assist those who are having difficulty performing basic movements like walking.
Medication: Patients suffering from orthopaedic trauma are often prescribed pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate their discomfort.
Physiotherapy: In general, one will recover faster from orthopaedic trauma when they are engaged in physiotherapy that involves personalised exercises that help restore, strengthen, and expedite healing for damaged musculoskeletal parts.
Surgical treatments: There are cases wherein certain orthopaedic trauma are too serious and cannot be treated with conservative and non-surgical options alone. When this happens, doctors will recommend surgical treatment that may include stabilising the damaged part with pins, wires, and plates. Common surgical techniques include minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, pelvic and acetabular reconstruction, revision surgery, fracture non-union surgery, bone grafting, and much more.