What Are Orthopedic Injuries?

Dec 21, 2020

What Are Orthopedic Injuries

An orthopedic injury refers to any harm or damage to the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. If you’ve been in a car accident or have been referred to an orthopedic specialist, these doctors can help diagnose and treat your injury to promote healing and restore functionality. Orthopedics focuses on how these parts of the body work together, and an Atlanta orthopedic doctor typically aims to heal injuries and conditions using non-surgical approaches. People often seek orthopedic care to manage injuries from car or motorcycle accidents, ensuring proper recovery and restoring functionality.

What is Orthopedic Trauma? 

Orthopedic trauma refers to injuries to the musculoskeletal system caused by an external force. This system includes your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and related tissues and blood vessels. While sometimes confused with general orthopedic injuries, orthopedic trauma specifically focuses on injuries due to sudden impacts or accidents.

Common Causes of Orthopedic Trauma Injuries 

Orthopedic trauma can be caused by a variety of events, including:

  • Falls: This is a common cause, especially in older adults.
  • Car accidents: High-impact collisions can cause fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries.
  • Sports injuries: Sudden twists, falls, and collisions during sports can lead to orthopedic trauma.
  • Work accidents: Injuries from falls, falling objects, or machinery can occur in the workplace.
  • Violence: Blunt force trauma from assaults can cause orthopedic injuries.
  • Overuse injuries: In some cases, repetitive stress on bones, muscles, or tendons can lead to stress fractures or tendinitis.

Orthopedic trauma can occur in anyone, but certain groups are at higher risk. Older adults with osteoporosis are particularly vulnerable due to the fragility of their bones. Additionally, individuals with a history of previous orthopedic trauma are more susceptible to these types of injuries.

Most Common Orthopedic Injuries

Whether it is due to trauma like an accident or simply age, several injuries are commonly treated by any Atlanta orthopedic doctor. These are some of the injuries seen most often, though orthopedists see a much broader range than this list encompasses.

  1. ACL Tear: The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, runs diagonally through the middle of the knee, providing stability and holding bones in place. When this is torn, bending the knee and standing can become difficult. Tears to the ACL are one of the most common sports injuries, often brought on by quick starts and stops or turns.
  2. Meniscus Tear: Also a common athletic injury, a tear to the meniscus cartilage can impact your knees’ ability to carry weight and turn. This usually leads to swelling, pain, stiffness, and difficulty with extension in those who exhibit it.
  3. Carpal Tunnel: When a nerve is pinched in the wrist, this can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and fingers. This pain can be caused by repetitive motions, like typing, and can also worsen with underlying conditions such as arthritis and diabetes. If left untreated, the nerve irritation can progress, leading to worsening pain
  4. Stress Fracture: When muscles become tired from overuse, they lose their ability to properly protect bones from impact, leaving them more susceptible to pressure. When the bone is then subject to similar pressure repeatedly, it struggles to bear the impact and can crack or fracture, in what is known as a stress fracture.
  5. Wrist Fractures: Because the wrists contain many thin and fragile bones, and the hands are often used to brace, they are particularly susceptible to breaks. Often caused by a fall, a broken wrist is treated with a cast in most cases.

Orthopedic Injury Treatment Options

After a traumatic incident like a fall or car accident, it is always best to seek help from an Atlanta orthopedic expert to determine if any damage has been done. Not all injuries will be obvious to you right away, but they may worsen over time before symptoms begin, and early treatment always leads to improved outcomes.

At your first appointment, an orthopedist will focus on diagnosis. This will involve talking through your symptoms and medical history, as well as a physical examination. In many cases, you will need CT scans and MRIs after a car accident to gather more information about what damage may have occurred.

Once you have been diagnosed, your orthopedist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Often, you will work with physical therapists and pain management specialists in addition to your doctor, with the goal of gaining strength and returning to prior levels of function. You will likely also be given instructions for care at home, such as rest or ice and heat therapy to help your recovery. In severe cases, it may be suggested you undergo more invasive procedures like surgery to repair severe damage.

Atlanta’s Trusted Choice for Orthopedic Care

Atlanta Orthopedic Care: At AICA Orthopedics, our multidisciplinary team works with you to create a treatment plan suited to your goals. Orthopedists work with a range of experts to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your injuries safely and efficiently.

Get the care you deserve for your car accident injuries. Find an AICA clinic near you today to begin your recovery journey.



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