Common Orthopedic Conditions and Injuries
If you are experiencing pain after a sudden movement or fall or from repetitive movement, it's important that you are examined by an orthopedic specialist. Orthopedic specialists treat a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries, but some of the most common orthopedic injuries are:
- AC Joint Separation: An AC joint separation is usually called a shoulder separation. AC stands for acromioclavicular joint, which is the joint connecting the shoulder blade to the clavicle or collarbone rather than the humerus or upper arm bone. An AC joint separation involves damage to the ligaments supporting the AC joint, either sprains or tears, commonly caused by a fall on the shoulder.
- Achilles tendon injury: Achilles tendon injuries can include both smalls tears or a rupture. Both are painful and need to be seen by a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment to help regain function.
- ACL injury: ACL sprains and tears are a common sports injury that can be caused by certain movements.
- Back Pain: Back pain is a common condition that can range from a chronic dull ache in the back to a sharp, debilitating pain. Back pain can stem from back injuries, arthritis, osteoporosis, hereditary conditions and other issues, and is a leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when a bursa, or small fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion to reduce friction in many joints, becomes inflamed due to overuse of the joint. Bursitis is most common in the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee, but can also occur in the wrist, ankle, upper back, big toe and other joints that perform frequent repetitive motions.
- Concussion: A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can alter the way the brain functions – usually temporarily. A brain injury of this type may cause pain, problems with concentration, fatigue, dizziness, memory problems and difficulty with balance or coordination.
- Dupuytren's Contracture: Dupuytren's contracture is a relatively painless hand deformity in which fibrous tissue under the skin of the palm thickens and tightens slowly over time, causing one or more fingers to curl inward toward the palm. Although both hands can be affected, the condition usually impacts just one hand.
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS, is a group of related diseases affecting human connective tissue. Connective tissue provides structural support for much of the body, including skin, bones, and organs. EDS is inherited, meaning that it is caused by a genetic disorder. There are a range of symptoms, but hypermobility, or overly flexible joints, is common to all. Thin, fragile, and easily stretched skin is another prominent symptom.
- Femur Fracture: The strength of a healthy femur means that considerable force is required to break it – typically, a major accident such as a car wreck or a serious athletic injury. Certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, can weaken the bone to the point that it is more easily fractured. Older persons can experience a break simply by falling.
- Ganglion Cyst: A ganglion cyst is fluid-filled lump that develops on the wrists, hands, feet, or ankles, typically in proximity to a tendon or joint. The most common locations for a cyst are the fingertips, the base of the fingers on the hand’s front or palmar side, and on the top of the feet. Growths of this type are nearly always noncancerous. Ganglion cysts vary in size from very small to more than an inch in diameter and will change in size over time. Women are subject to ganglion cysts more often than men.
- Gleniod Labrum: he shoulder joint is made up of the shoulder blade (scapula), the collarbone (clavicle), and the upper arm bone (humerus). The head of the humerus rests in a socket in the shoulder blade called the glenoid. The head of the humerus is much larger than the socket, and a soft fibrous tissue rim called the labrum surrounds the socket and attaches to the socket to help stabilize the joint. The rim deepens the socket by up to 50 percent so that the head of the humerus fits better. A tear in the labrum can result from trauma or repetitive shoulder motion.
- Kyphosis: Kyphosis is a medical disorder of the middle and upper back, caused by excessive outward curvature of the thoracic spine. It is most apparent in the negative effect it has on posture. Persons with kyphosis carry themselves in a stooped position, with rounded shoulders and a visible hump on the back. (A layperson’s term for kyphosis is “hunchback”.) Though more typically a self-image problem than a health issue, extreme cases of kyphosis can result in chronic pain, spinal deformity, and respiratory dysfunction.
- Meniscus Tear: A torn meniscus is a very common knee injury, especially among athletes. It occurs when there is a forceful twist or rotation of the knee. Each knee has two menisci – C- or wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as shock absorbers between the thigh bone and shin bone. They cushion the joint and provide knee stability.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. OA consists of loss of the protective cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. The cartilage wears down over time, narrowing the space between the bones of the joint and leading to pain, swelling and problems moving the affected joint. OA most commonly affects the hand joints, spine, hips, and knees. It’s a top cause of disability in middle-aged to older adults.
- Osteomyelitis: Osteomyelitis is the medical name for a bone infection. In most cases, the infecting agent is a bacterium, oftentimes the organism, Staphylococcus aureus. Fungal infections also occur, though less commonly. Pathogens penetrate the bone from surrounding tissues or through the bloodstream. Infections can also develop within the bone itself, when subject to a break or a wound. Osteomyelitis is a rare condition, affecting only about two persons out of 10,000, but it can have a detrimental impact on health.
- Osteopenia: Osteopenia is bone density that is below normal but not as low as osteoporosis (a condition where bones become so weak that they can break as a result of minor injury or even everyday activity). Bone density is a measurement of how dense and strong the bones are as compared to a normal peak density. Although osteopenia is not as serious as osteoporosis, having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, you may develop osteoporosis. Osteopenia can lead to bone fragility and increased chance of fracture.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to lose density and mass, becoming weak and brittle. This can cause bones to break more easily from falls or as a result of mild stresses such as a bump, bending over or coughing. In some cases the fracture occurs without any known trauma or stresses to the bone, causing the person to fall.
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a medical disorder of the feet that affects the sheet of tissues (the plantar fascia) connecting the heel and toes. It is marked by inflammation and a stabbing pain that most often originates in the heel’s center. Roughly 80 percent of Americans experiencing heel pain at any point in time are suffering from plantar fasciitis. In the most serious cases, the plantar fascia can rupture, leading to severe pain and difficulty in standing and walking.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis linked to a second medical disorder – psoriasis, a dermatological condition in which crusty red patches with silver flecks form on the skin. Only a small amount of individuals with psoriasis develops psoriatic arthritis. It’s also possible to develop this condition without first having psoriasis. Like other forms of the disease, psoriatic arthritis is marked by joint swelling, pain, and immobility. The severity of a psoriatic disorder varies considerably and different joints can be affected by the disease at different times.
- Rotator Cuff Tear: A rotator cuff tear is a common injury, often seen in sports or in jobs involving repetitive arm motions such as painting. A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the tendons no longer attaches to the head of the humerus. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint by keeping the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) within the shallow shoulder socket. The rotator cuff also facilitates lifting and rotational movements of the arm.
- Sciatica: Sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain that may be associated with tingling, numbness, or weakness. It originates in the lower back and travels through the hip and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica may continue to the foot or toes causing leg, hip or back pain.
- Shoulder Arthritis: Shoulder arthritis is a painful condition in which the normally smooth cartilage covering the ball and socket of the shoulder joint is damaged due to disease, wear and tear, injury or surgery. Different types of shoulder arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), post-traumatic arthritis (PA), or rotator cuff arthropathy. Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a condition in which the bone "dies" as a result of a loss of circulation to an area of bone tissue. It can lead to the collapse of the bone and joint, causing pain and immobility.
- Spondylosis: Spondylosis is a condition caused by the wearing of the discs and bones in the spine. It may appear in the cervical, thoracic or lumber regions of the spine, and is also known as spinal osteoarthritis. It may also be associated with the development of bone spurs in the spine and compression of the spinal nerve roots.
- Sprains and strains: Sprains and strains are incredibly common both as sports injuries and even as everyday injuries, but the symptoms are very similar. Learn the differences between sprains and strains from Baptist Health Deaconess.
- Stress fractures: Stress fractures are small hairline breaks in bones among physically active people which cause pain at the site.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition associated with numbness, pain, and a tingling or burning sensation in the ankles and feet. It results from compression of the posterior tibial nerve, which provides feeling and muscle mobility to the forward parts of the foot. The tarsal tunnel is the posterior tibial nerve’s pathway through the ankle into the foot, named for the small and irregularly shaped tarsal bones that comprise the hindfoot. It also contains arteries, veins, and tendons, protected by a tough sheath of ligament. The exact incidence of tarsal tunnel syndrome in the U.S. is unknown, though women and men appear similarly affected by it.