What are Some Common Trauma-Related Injuries That Our Orthopaedic Specialists See & Treat?

Our orthopaedic specialists treat a number of different trauma-related injuries, and we are able to provide various types of treatment for these injuries depending on the severity and type. The most common of these trauma-related injuries are dislocations and fractures.

What Defines a Dislocation? 

Dislocation, Trauma, Shoulder Dislocation, SportsIn Orthopaedic, Orthopaedic Doctors, Orthopaedic Specialist

A dislocation is an injury whereby the bones in a joint are forced apart due to impact pressure. The joints in our body are the places in which we can move our bones against each other. 

These bone-joint connection points have a fixed position where they can move freely in a particular range of motion. Different joints have different ranges of motion and can either be mobile or stable. 

The joints become dislocated when they are no longer in these fixed positions. Sometimes joints are only partially dislocated, and this is referred to as a subluxation. 

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Types of Dislocations: 

The shoulder joint is where the large upper arm bone (the humerus) sits in the socket (glenoid) located at the end of the shoulder blade (scapula). 

This kind of joint is referred to as a ball and socket joint. The joint becomes dislocated when the head of the humerus moves out of the socket of the shoulder complex.

What Are the Symptoms of Glenohumeral Joint Dislocations? 

Typically, a glenohumeral joint dislocation can be identified by severe shoulder pain, swelling or bruising of the upper arm, along with numbness or weakness in the arm, neck, and fingers. 

Additionally, patients may notice that the arm appears to be out of place. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Glenohumeral Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the type and the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place. 

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.

The Acromioclavicular (AC) joint sits between the lateral end of the collarbone (clavicle) and a small facet on the large bony projection on the superior end of the scapula (the acromion). 

The AC joint attaches one’s scapula to our clavicle. The joint is dislocated when the clavicle becomes disconnected from the scapula.

What Are the Symptoms of Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations? 

The most common symptoms of acromioclavicular joint dislocations are a visible bump or bruise on the shoulder, shoulder or arm pain, and limited shoulder mobility. Patients may also experience pain when lying on the affected arm and a popping sound when they attempt to move the shoulder. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place. 

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.

The elbow joint is a type of hinge joint between the distal end of the humerus in the upper arm and the proximal ends of the ulna and radius (forearm bones) in the forearm. 

The elbow is dislocated when both the humerus, ulna and/or the radius are out of alignment.

What Are the Symptoms of Elbow Joint Dislocations? 

If a patient is suffering from an elbow joint dislocation, some symptoms that they may notice are the inability to move one’s elbow joint, pain and weakness in the arm, and swelling. Additionally, the arm may look deformed, as if the bone is not in its proper position. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Elbow Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place. 

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.

The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is the connection of the breastbone (sternum) to the clavicle. 

An SC joint dislocation is a relatively uncommon type of dislocation due to its stability and minimal range of motion. The clavicle will either dislocate in front of (an anterior SC dislocation) or behind (a posterior SC dislocation) the sternum.

What Are the Symptoms of Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations? 

In the case of sternoclavicular joint dislocations, patients tend to present with symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, and bruising over the joint, making it difficult to move the arm. Additionally, patients may experience a grinding or crunching sound when they attempt to move the affected arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment?

Initially, they should rest their joints, apply ice packs and take anti-inflammatories. Once the green light has been given, patients should religiously perform the recommended exercises prescribed by their physiotherapists.  

What Is a Fracture?

A fracture is the breaking of a bone in the body. Fractures can occur in any bone of the body. They appear as either a full or partial break in the continuity of the bone. Bone fractures can occur crosswise, lengthwise, in several places or even be a complete breaking of the bone into many pieces. It is also possible for multiple fractures to occur in the same bone. 

Fractures can be classified according to their break patterns. 

Some examples are:

  • Stable fractures (clean break but parts in alignment), 
  • Transverse fractures (90-degree angle straight across the bone),
  • Comminuted fractures (break with the presence of multiple bone fragments),
  • Oblique fractures (bones have broken at an angle), 
  • Compound fractures (open fracture when the bone breaks through the skin), 
  • Hairline fractures (a crack in the bone), 
  • Avulsion fractures (a break where the bone is attached to a tendon or ligament), 
  • Greenstick fractures (a partial break on one side of the bone, but not right through)
  • Spiral fractures (a complete fracture that results from rotational force applied to the bone).

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Clavicle fractures are typically caused by direct impact to the collarbone. This is often the result of a fall or a car crash. Falling onto an outstretched arm may also result in a collarbone fracture.

What Are the Symptoms of a Clavicle Fracture? 

Common symptoms of a clavicle fracture include tenderness, bruising, and the inability to move the affected shoulder. Patients may often experience a grinding sound when they attempt to move the arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Clavicle Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment for a Clavicle Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

The shoulder blade, or scapula, refers to the bone located at the back of one’s shoulder. It is located between the shoulder and the spine. 

Scapula fractures are typically the result of direct trauma to the side or back. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fracture? 

Fractures to any part of the shoulder blade typically result in swelling and bruising. Patients also experience difficulty moving the affected arm over their heads. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment for a Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

Your humerus forms part of the shoulder joint, acting as the connection to your scapula and part of your elbow and forearm. The centre of the humerus is referred to as the humeral shaft. When impact or trauma occurs, it usually results in a fracture to this part of the humerus.

What Are the Symptoms of a Humerus Shaft (Arm) Fracture? 

Common symptoms of a humerus shaft fracture or arm fracture include tenderness, bruising, and the inability to move the affected shoulder. Patients may often experience a grinding sound when they attempt to move the arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Humerus Shaft (Arm) Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment for a Humerus Shaft (Arm) Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

Your humerus forms part of the shoulder joint, acting as the connection to your scapula and part of your elbow and forearm. A distal humerus fracture refers to a break in the lower end of the humerus.

What Are the Symptoms of a Distal Humerus (Elbow) Fracture? 

Common symptoms of a distal humerus fracture or elbow fracture include tenderness, bruising, and the inability to move the affected shoulder. Patients may often experience a grinding sound when they attempt to move the arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Distal Humerus (Elbow) Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment for a Distal Humerus (Elbow) Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

Radius and ulna fractures, also known as forearm fractures, are commonly seen fractures of the forearm. As with other fractures, they are caused by either direct or indirect trauma to the area.

What Are the Symptoms of Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures? 

You can typically identify radius and ulna fractures by the immediate pain of the bones fracturing, felt upon impact of the collision or trauma. In the case of radius and ulna fractures, the affected arm will appear to look deformed as both bones are often affected at the same time. 

Other symptoms include the inability to move the affected arm – it is likely that you will need to support the injured arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

The femur, or thigh bone, is the largest bone in the body. Your femur is responsible for the ability to stand and walk. Being the most prominent bone in the human body, it is also the heaviest and strongest, a femur fracture requires a large amount of force or trauma to the area. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Femur (Thigh Bone) Fracture? 

Common symptoms of a femur fracture or thigh bone fracture include tenderness, bruising, and the inability to stand or walk. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Femur (Thigh Bone) Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment of a Femur (Thigh Bone) Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry.

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

The knee is the meeting place of several bones. They are the kneecap, tibia, femur, and fibula. Damage to any of these bones may result in a knee fracture. Fractures of the knee are sustained through a fall or trauma to the knee. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Knee Fracture? 

If you are suffering from a knee fracture, you may experience symptoms such as pain and swelling, bruising, and the inability to stand or straighten the knee. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Knee Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment of a Knee Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

The shin bone, or tibia, is one of the most commonly fractured bones in the human body. A tibia fracture is typically caused by trauma to the area. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Tibia (Shin Bone) Fracture? 

If you are suffering from a knee fracture, you may experience symptoms such as intense pain and the inability to stand or bear weight on the injured leg. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for a Tibia (Shin Bone) Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment of a Tibia (Shin Bone) Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

When one or more bones within the ankle sustain trauma, either a fall, a car crash, or high-impact sports, it can result in a fractured ankle. 

What Are the Symptoms of an Ankle Fracture? 

If you are suffering from an ankle fracture, you may experience symptoms such as pain and swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking or putting weight on the affected leg. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for an Ankle Fracture?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care for Their Injuries After Treatment of an Ankle Fracture?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months. 

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.

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