Fractures & Injuries
Fracture treatment is the bedrock of all Orthopaedic Surgery. Many advances in Orthopaedic principles have come from wartime experiences.
Origin of Orthopaedics
Fractures and Treatment
The term 'Orthopaedics', coined in the mid-18th century, comes from ancient Greek, meaning to 'straighten deformities in children'. The early practice of Orthopaedics focused mainly on non-surgical treatment for childhood deformities. Modern Orthopaedic principles and surgery were developed only in the 20th century, with the advent of internal fixation devices for fractures. Many Orthopaedic advances were made through the treatment of wartime injuries.
A Fracture refers to a break in a bone. It is a general term and may mean any severity of injury from microscopic internal cracks, to hairline cracks, to severe multi-fragmentary injuries. Many forms of fractures can be treated with immobilisation of the limb, using splints, boots, casts, or nowadays, Open Cast, which is a cast that allows washing. However, many fracture patterns will also require surgery, as it is precisely for the proper recovery of such fractures that surgical implants and principles have been developed.
Soft Tissue Injury
Principles of Injury Treatment
The other major type of Injury, other than Fractures, is Soft Tissue Injury. Soft Tissue Injury means that instead of bone that has been fractured, a soft tissue structure such as a Ligament, Tendon, or Meniscus has been injured. Examples of Soft Tissue Injuries are: knee ACL tears, shoulder dislocation, elbow dislocation, severe ankle sprains. Soft Tissue Injuries will require an MRI scan to diagnose.
The Principles of Fracture and Injury treatment is to restore normal anatomy as best as possible and to minimise scar tissue formation.
When bones and tissues are damaged, the disruption of their normal anatomy causes them to form a lot of scar tissue when they heal. Too much scar tissue is bad, as they cause pain, weakness, and reduced movement of the joints. Rehabilitation has to focus on the perfect balance between activity and rest in order to achieve the fastest and best-possible recovery.