Orthopedic injuries can happen at any time, affecting the muscles, bones, and connective tissue in any part of your body. Whether you’ve sprained your ankle stepping off the curb, torn your rotator cuff playing sports, or broken a bone in a car accident, you need immediate medical attention to ensure you heal properly.
People often go to the emergency department to seek treatment for their injuries, but that can be both time-consuming and expensive. At Lake Family Medicine & Imaging, Dr. Raj Kandavanam and his team offer an alternative. They go above and beyond most general practitioners’ offices by providing in-house imaging, allowing them to diagnose and treat a wide range of orthopedic injuries.
Common Orthopedic Injuries
Orthopedic injuries affect many parts of the body. Some of the most common injuries include:
The knee is one of the most commonly injured body parts, with sports, falls, and car accidents accounting for the lion’s share of the damage. Injuries are usually caused by twisting or bending force applied to the joint (such as in sports that require sudden changes in direction), or when the knee receives a direct blow. The main symptoms of a knee injury are pain and swelling.
Knee sprains occur when there’s stretching damage to any of the four ligaments that hold the knee joint together. Knee strains occur when any of the tendons or muscles that surround the knee are hyperflexion or overextended. Strains not only cause pain outside of the knee joint but also can cause a limited range of motion.
A torn meniscus is also a common injury. The two semi-round, articular pieces of cartilage act as shock absorbers for the knee joint and provide smooth movement of the knee against the femur in the thigh. The menisci can be torn acutely or can suffer wear-and-tear because of overuse and/or aging.
While most people think of ankle injuries as coming from playing sports, in truth, something as mundane as walking on an uneven surface can be the culprit. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, involving ligaments and bones, respectively. It’s estimated that 25,000 people sprain their ankle each day in the US.
You can also tear or strain a tendon. In the ankle, the peroneal tendons stabilize and protect the joint. However, they can become inflamed due to overuse or trauma, a condition called tendinitis. In addition, microscopic tears in these tendons can accumulate overtime when the tendons are repeatedly overstretched and don’t heal properly. This leads to a condition called tendinosis.
Your shoulders are the joints where your humerus (upper arm bones), scapula (shoulder blades), and clavicle (collarbone) meet. A group of four muscles and tendons, collectively known as a rotator cuff, covers and protects the humerus, allowing you to raise and move your arm.
The most common shoulder injuries include:
- Dislocation: when the shoulder rotates too far, the top of your arm pops out of its socket
- Separation: a hard blow tears the ligaments holding your clavicle and scapula together
- Fracture: the most common breaks are to the clavicle and the humerus, causing pain, bruising, and weakness
- Cartilage tear: the cartilage around the shoulder joint can tear from repetitive use, a fall, or if it absorbs a lot of force
- Rotator cuff tear: injury may come from overuse, a fall, or from wear-and-tear due to aging
Diagnosing Orthopedic Injuries
To diagnose your injury, Dr. Kandavanam will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. He may gently manipulate the injured area or ask you to perform certain stretches or movements to demonstrate a range of motion.
Sometimes the diagnosis is clear, but to obtain more information or to confirm that diagnosis, he will ask for X-rays and perhaps some other diagnostic tests. Because we have the imaging facilities on-site, you don’t need to make another appointment or head to another doctor’s office. Our goal is to get you taken care of as soon as possible.
Treating Orthopedic Injuries
With a diagnosis in hand, Dr. Kandavanam creates a personalized treatment plan for you. Depending on the location and severity of your injury, that treatment may include:
- Medication (pain relievers and anti-inflammatories)
- Splints, braces, and casts
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
If your injury is severe and conservative treatments don’t heal it effectively, he can refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for follow-up.
If you have an orthopedic injury of any kind and on any body part, Lake Family Medicine & Imaging has got you covered. Give our office a call at 407-232-7655, or schedule an appointment online as soon as possible to give yourself the best possible outcome.