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House Call: Treating Orthopedic Injury

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Unfortunately, with the increase outdoor activity and Spring sports, also comes orthopedic injuries.

Orthopedic injury encompasses any injury that occurs within the musculoskeletal system; common orthopedic injuries include muscle pulls, dislocations, fractures, head and neck injuries and ligament or tendon sprains or tears.

In the incidence of orthopedic injury, as with any injury, it is most important to assess the severity by checking consciousness, Airway-Breathing-Circulation (ABC’s) and for any excessive bleeding.  If a severe orthopedic injury is suspected, call 911 immediately.

Even if a patient is conscious and their ABC’s are normal, a serious orthopedic injury still may have occurred and it is important to seek medical attention.

Most often in the incidence of a break, fracture, dislocation, sprain or tear, the patient will hear a pop, there will be fairly quick swelling and/or bruising and sudden pain will present as signs of the injury.

To assess the injury, a physician or related healthcare provider will compare the injured part of the body to the non-injured part of the body, test the patients’ range of motion and inspect the area using palpations (applying pressure).

In the instance of a bone fracture or break, patients are most often first treated with an adjustable splint for the first week to allow for increases and decreases in swelling; then fitted with a permanent cast. With dislocations, the earlier it is relocated and treated, the better the results and healing period.

Because orthopedic injuries can vary greatly, treatment is always individualized.  As a general rule, full range of motion and eighty percent of strength needs to be restored before returning to the activity or sport.

Level of recovery should also always be assessed by a physician or related medical professional to decrease risk of further complications down the road.

Fortunately, our community has an exceptional team of sports medicine specialists, primary care physicians and other related healthcare professionals within the Cone Health network that are dedicated to educating individuals about safety during activity and treating orthopedic injury.

Physician Background:

Dr. Shane Hudnall is a primary care sports medicine specialist practicing at Cone Health Sports Medicine Department at MedCenter High Point. Dr. Hudnall is a 2007 graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine.

He completed his residency in family medicine at Cone Health Family Medicine Center and completed his fellowship in sports medicine at Cone Health’s sports medicine fellowship program.