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Injuries by Location

Learn more about common injuries that can occur in certain areas of the body. Choose an area of the body below:

Overview

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. The anatomy of the shoulder, including the muscles and tendons around the shoulder allow for this mobility. The shoulder has three different areas, or joints, called the: glenohumeral joint (the ball and socket), acromial clavicular joint (A/C joint) and scapulo thoracic joint (the articulation between the shoulder blade and the rib cage).

Injuries

There are several muscles around the shoulder. The biggest is the deltoid muscle, which is the muscle that can be felt when you touch your shoulder. Below the deltoid muscle, there are four rotator cuff muscles. These muscles are the most commonly injured muscles of the shoulder. Injuries can occur to the rotator cuff, the joint capsule, labrum, ligaments, or the bones.

Protocols

See all shoulder protocols »

Conditions

Overview

The elbow is a simple hinge joint connecting the upper arm to the forearm. It is a very stable joint because of its bones, which include the upper arm (humerus) and the forearm bones (the radius and the ulna). Several muscles cross the elbow joint to allow the elbow to flex and extend, as well as supinate (palm facing up) and pronate (palm facing down).

Injuries

The muscles that surround the elbow are the muscles of the upper arm, the biceps and triceps. In addition to the upper arm muscles, some muscles that control the wrist movements of flexion and extension cross the elbow joint. Lastly, the muscles that rotate the forearm are located in the elbow region. Injuries of the elbow can occur in any of the muscles that surround the joint. Joint dislocations are rare but serious injuries. Other structures of the elbow that can be injured are the ligaments. Common ligament injuries are associated with overhead throwing.

Protocols

See all elbow protocols »

Conditions

Overview

The wrist joint joins the forearm and the hand. The joint has many ligaments and bones that allow it great flexibility. All of the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the fingers cross the wrist joint as well. These can be the initial site of injury but commonly are not considered wrist injuries. The many bones of the wrist and their proximity to each other make diagnosing wrist injuries difficult.

Injuries

The most common wrist problem is a fracture. When someone falls onto an outstretched hand, they often break their forearm bones. This is usually cared for with a cast until the bone heals. Other problems around the wrist are caused by repetitive activities. A fall on the hand can also cause ligament sprains and fractures in the bones of the wrist.

Protocols

See all wrist protocols »

Conditions

Overview

The hip is a ball and socket joint similar to the shoulder. The femoral head forms a ball that sits deep within the socket known as the acetabulum. The acetabulum is a part of the pelvis and, in ordinary circumstances, covers more than one-half the femoral head. For what the hip joint lacks in mobility it gains in strength and stability. The hip joint is rarely dislocated but other injuries about the joint are caused by the great amount of forces that are generated in the hip.

Injuries

Orthopedic injuries during the growing years usually occur following major injuries such as car accidents or falls from heights. Sports related injuries can also occur, and can be traumatic or overuse in nature. In later years, the hip is one of the primary causes of disability among the elderly. In children hip injuries are not common, but when they are injured one has to be cautious due to the open growth plates of the bones. An injury to the growth plate of the head of the femur is serious and needs immediate medical evaluation.

Protocols

See all hip protocols »

Conditions

Overview

There are three separate areas in the knee: the medial compartment, the lateral compartment and the kneecap joint or patella-femoral compartment. The knee joint is considered a hinge joint, where it flexes and extends in one plane. However, there are also minor rotational and gliding forces that are involved in normal knee movement. The knee is a structurally shallow joint, unlike the hip, therefore it relies on soft tissue structures for stability. The structures of the knee, other than the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and the patella (knee cap) are the ligaments and cartilage that give the knee its stability.

Injuries

The medial and lateral compartments are the weight bearing areas of the knee. They are covered by a smooth surface known as articular cartilage. Damage to this surface is called arthritis when it is generalized, or damage can occur in an isolated area, resulting in arthritis to a specific area. Injuries to the ligaments are common in sports. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear is probably the injury most read about due to the notoriety of the athletes whose careers have been put on hold during the long recovery process. Other injuries include meniscus injuries. The meniscus is the cushioning cartilage of the knee and can be injured during sports.

Protocols

See all knee protocols »

Conditions

Overview

Chronic leg pain is unfortunately a common complaint for many different athletes. Weight bearing sports more commonly, but not exclusively, are felt to increase the risks of these types of problems. Problems such as shin splints, stress fractures, and exertional compartment syndrome are the most common injuries and need to be differentiated between and treated appropriately.

Protocols

See all lower-leg protocols »

Conditions

Overview

The ankle is a stable joint consisting of several bones including the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the ankle bone (talus). There are also several ligaments crossing the joint on the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) of the joint.

Injuries

Ankle injuries are common, and occur frequently. Direct trauma to the ankle can cause bones to fracture and are treated either by casts or surgery depending on their degree of seriousness. Ankle sprains are more common and involve the ligaments on either side of the ankle.

Protocols

See all ankle protocols »

Conditions

Ankle Sprains »
High Ankle Sprains – Syndesmosis Sprains  »
Jones (5th Metatarsal) Fracture »
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) of the Talus »
Peroneal Tendon Injuries »
Plantar Fasciitis »
Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) »

 

 

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