Ortho Answers

July 2, 2020
Wrist fracture

Avoid these three common orthopedic injuries

Between work, school, and family responsibilities, you can count on being able to go, go, go. Imagine how a joint injury would slow you down.

“Orthopedic injuries can be quite limiting,” says Anthony Sanchez, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Centura Orthopedic & Spine – Castle Rock.

“They often require rest and joint immobilization.”

Here are three common orthopedic injuries and how to avoid them:

  1. Wrist fracture – Accounting for 18 to 25 percent of all fractures, wrist fractures are the most common in all age groups. They often result from trying to catch yourself during a fall, but car crashes and other accidents are also culprits.
    • Prevent it: Focus on bone health by eating a healthy, calcium-rich diet and engaging in strengthening exercises like wrist extensions. Wear wrist guards when skating or doing other activities with a high risk of falling.d
    • Treat it: Wrist fractures require diagnosis and treatment by a physician. If you have pain and swelling, have difficulty moving your hand, or feel tingling in your fingertips, call your doctor.
  2. Ankle sprain – Nearly 25,000 people sprain an ankle every day while walking on an uneven surface, twisting at the ankle, or falling. Sprains can range from mild to severe.
    • Prevent it: Always wear the right shoes for your activity. Strengthen your ankles with exercises like balancing on one leg an using a balance board.
    • Treat it: Mild sprains can be treated at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you can’t bear weight on the joint or there’s significant swelling, go to the doctor for an X-ray,
  3. Dislocated shoulder – Your shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint, and it’s also the most commonly dislocated Young men and older women are at highest risk for dislocating their shoulders during accidents or falls
    • Prevent it: Wear protective gear when playing contact sports. Avoid falls by keeping floors clean of trip hazards and talking to your doctor about any dizziness you experience
    • Treat it: Joint dislocation is an emergency. If your shoulder is visibly out of place, you experience severe pain, or you’re unable to move the joint, get to the ER. In the meantime, ice the joint, but do not move it.