Fracture and Soft Tissue Surgery
A fracture is a crack or break of a bone in the body, ranging in severity from hairline to compound. A soft tissue injury is the damage of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body. There are several common types of fractures and there are 3 different types of strains or sprains which cause soft tissue injuries.
Types of Fractures
There are many types of fractures, but they are normally put into 2 groups.
Simple (Closed) Fracture
Simple or closed fractures include all broken bones that remain within the body and do not protrude out of the skin. Simple fractures can cause different levels of damage to the soft tissue surrounding it and must be examined by a doctor for the full evaluation of damage.
Compound (Open) Fractures
Compound or open fractures include all broken bones that penetrate the skin and expose the bone to the environment. If you have a compound fracture, seek medical attention immediately. With compound fractures, more often than not there is damage to the surrounding soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) and they must be repaired with surgery along with the bone.
3 grades of strain or sprains.
This is normally due to a slight overstretching, sometimes accompanies by very mild tearing of muscle fibers. Can be considered a mild sprain or strain which is normally accompanied by mild tenderness and small amounts of swelling. Icing in most cases will help alleviate symptoms.
This is a moderate overstretching and a partial tear of muscle fibers. This is normally accompanied by moderate pain, tenderness, and swelling. This requires a doctors attention and must be assessed for the correct healing process.
This is a severe sprain or strain and is a complete tear of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons which causes instability in the affected joint. This is accompanied by severe pain and swelling. Inability to use the injured area. This requires immediate doctor attention for the correct healing process.
Fracture and Soft Tissue Surgery – When You Should Consider It
When considering surgery for a fracture or a soft tissue injury, you and your doctor will work together and come up with the best plan for your specific case. You should consider surgery if there is considerable/complete tearing of the muscle, tendons, ligaments or if you have any type of bone fracture. In milder cases of injury, physical therapy, pain medications, and steroid injections can be used to build up the affected area to alleviate the problem.
Fracture and Soft Tissue Surgery Alternatives
Physical Therapy – Physical therapy can be used as an alternative and a supplement to surgery. For patients who undergo a surgery for something such as ankle fracture, it is used as a supplement to build the muscles and increase range of motion for the foot/ankle area. Some patients try physical therapy first as an alternative to surgery to built up the foot/ankle area in the hopes that it may improve ailments such as plantar fasciitis or a strained ankle.
Steroid Injections – Steroid injections are used to help reduce swelling thus alleviating stiffness and pain for problems such as sprained ankles, swollen tendons in the affected area.
Medication – Anti-inflammatory medicine can be very helpful for any problem minor soft tissue damage and help reduce the patient’s pain during the healing process.
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