Matthew R Price, MD - Orthopaedic Surgeon Ellis & Badenhausen Orthopaedics - Matthew R Price, MD - Orthopaedic Surgeon Matthew R Price, MD - Orthopaedic Surgeon : (502) 587-1236
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Fractures & Trauma

Hip Fracture

Hip fracture is a break in the upper end of the thigh bone forms the hip joint. It usually occurs in elderly people aged over 65 years either due to a fall or a direct blow to the hip. Certain medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer and stress injuries weaken the bone and increase the risk of hip fractures in elderly people. Often, hip fractures require surgical correction and the surgery depends on the part of the upper femur bone affected.

Ankle Fracture

Ankle injuries are the most common sports-related injury.  An ankle fracture is a break in one or more bones that make up the ankle joint. Sometimes ligaments may also be damaged. Ankle fractures are most often caused by motor vehicle accident, rolling or twisting of ankle, and by tripping or falling. People participating in sports such as basketball, football, soccer and skiing are at a high risk of developing ankle fractures.

Common symptoms of an ankle fracture include pain and swelling around the ankle, bruising, tender to touch, inability to walk on the leg, and deformity if the ankle is dislocated.

Following an ankle injury it is important to have the ankle evaluated by your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is made based on the history of injury and physical examination of the ankle. In addition, the surgeon may order X-ray of the ankle to determine the extent of the injury.

Treatment varies with the type and severity of the injury. The common method of treatment of ankle fractures is adequate rest, ice application, leg elevation, and medications to reduce swelling and pain. A short leg cast or a brace may be applied over the fractured ankle to provide support. If there is severe injury, excessive swelling or severe pain, you should seek immediate medical treatment.

Some ankle fractures are treated with a splint, which is placed on the ankle for few days until the swelling subsides. Once the swelling decreases a cast may be placed on the ankle to hold the broken bone in a specific place. Surgery may be needed to realign the bones before placing the splint. During surgery, your doctor may place metal screws, plates, or rods to hold the broken bone intact until the healing happens. In some cases, crutches may be used to prevent the ankle from bearing weight.

It is important to use proper fitting shoes for the particular sports activity to reduce the chances of injury.

Wrist Fracture

The wrist is comprised of two bones in the forearm (the radius and the ulna) and eight other tiny bones. The bones meet to form multiple large and small joints. A wrist fracture refers to a break in one or more bones in the wrist. Wrist fracture can be caused due to a fall on the outstretched arm or an injury due to accidents such as a car accident or workplace injuries. A wrist fracture is more common in people with osteoporosis, a condition marked by brittleness of the bones.

Common symptoms of a wrist fracture include pain, swelling, and deformity at the wrist site, as well as movement constraint in hand and wrist. More commonly, fracture in radius is seen in many fractures exhibiting deformity of the wrist. Deformity may not be apparent in the case of fractures of the smaller bones such as the scaphoid.

Wrist fractures are simple if the pieces of the fractured bone are well aligned and stable; and unstable if the broken bone fragments are misaligned and cause wrist deformity. Some fractures result in breaking of the joint surface and some don’t. Open (compound) fracture is one in which the broken bone can be seen through the skin. In such a fracture the risk of infection is higher. Misalignment of the bone fragments in a healed fracture might permanently limit motion, cause pain, or arthritis.

Your doctor will perform a preliminary examination followed by an X-ray of the wrist to diagnose a fracture and the state of alignment of the bones. Sometimes a CT scan may be used to gather more details of the fracture and the associated injuries. Injuries to ligaments (the structures that hold the bones together), tendons, muscles, and nerves may also occur when the wrist is broken. In such cases these injuries also need to be treated concurrently.

Factors such as age, activity level, hand dominance, previous injuries, and arthritis of the wrist besides other medical conditions, and possible predisposing causes in hobbies and occupation of the patient are considered before treating a wrist fracture. Fractures that are not displaced are treated with either a splint or a cast to hold the wrist in place. For displaced fractures surgery may be needed to properly set the bone and hold it in place, sometimes using external devices, with pins, screws, rods, or plates. These implants are placed deep inside through an incision on the lower or upper side of the wrist.

If the wrist fracture is treated externally, pins are fixed above and below the fracture site and these pins are held in place by an external frame outside the body. This keeps the bone stable until healing occurs.

Sometimes, if the bone is crushed or missing, surgical treatment such as bone grafting may be required. Bone grafting involves taking the bone from another part of the body or a bone bank or using a bone graft substitute to treat the fracture.

During the period of healing, fingers and shoulder are allowed to remain flexible unless there are other injuries that require their immobilization. When the fracture heals and the limb is stable, you may be asked to do some motion exercises to keep the wrist flexible. In many cases, hand therapy may be indicated to restore flexibility, function, and strength. There is no standard wrist fracture recovery time. While some fractures take a few weeks, some others may take several months to heal.

Click the desired links below to find out more from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons AAOS website.

Foot & Ankle

Hip

Knee & Leg

Shoulder, Arm, Elbow

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