Dislocations and sprains and breaks, oh my! Summer is the time of year for more outdoor play and adventure, and unfortunately from an Orthopedic standpoint, more injuries! We see so many orthopedic mishaps this time of year, and are so happy to offer our patients an urgent care specifically to meet the community’s orthopedic needs: Orthopedic Urgent Care at OSSM is here to treat all of your water skiing, biking, or summer softball league injuries.
There are several types of injuries we see over and over throughout the summer season, and while we love helping our patients by treating them, prevention really is key. Here are some common summer injuries and ways to prevent them:
Often it can be difficult to tell the difference between a strain and a more serious injury, so it is wise to get checked if you are suffering through these symptoms:
- Lasting pain
- Reduced function of the area (not being able to move the joint regularly)
- Swelling and/or bruising
A sprain is an injury of the ligaments: when a joint is overstretched or extended it can cause tearing (or just over stretching causing pain) of the ligaments. Often sprains can be treated with rest, ice, and elevation at home. Our orthopedic team at OSSM can wrap the sprain well with a bandage to provide the right amount of compression to reduce inflammation and protect the area as well. A more serious sprain may need more intervention, which is a good reason to get the area checked out early.
The causes of sprains can be endless: overuse, stepping off a curb wrong, twisting your ankle wake surfing, or catching yourself during a fall. The best way to prevent a sprain is by treating your body (specifically the musculoskeletal system) well every day. Before going up to bat for the first time in your summer softball league, warm up your muscles with some jogging and dynamic stretching. Wear shoes that fit and are appropriate for the activity and use the proper equipment for whatever activity you will be enjoying.
Joint dislocations are another common injury we see in the summer. All it takes is a force that moves the bones in the joint out of place, so there are many summer activities that dislocation is one small mishap away from ending in. Often a patient will come in knowing they have dislocated a joint, but if you are unsure these are common symptoms to look for:
- Pain, Swelling, and/or Bruising of the area
- Inability to move the joint
- Visually seeing the bones out of joint
With a dislocation, the doctor can guide the bone back in place in the clinic. Depending on the injury, recovery may be possible at home, or there may be more treatment involved to repair the area.
As with a sprain the best prevention for dislocations is a strong and healthy musculoskeletal system and using the proper protective equipment for whatever fun summer activity you are participating in.