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Common Orthopaedic Problems

Any disorder, ailments congenital malformations or even injury of bones, ligaments, joints and muscles is categorised an orthopedic problem.

There are so many orthopedic problems that it is almost impossible to list them. However there are few disorders and conditions that are quite common like:

1. Fractures

Fractures or broken bones are usually caused due falls and accidents. When a fracture happens, it is classified as an open fractures or a closed fracture, depending on the nature of injury

  • » An open fracture or compound fracture is when the bone pokes through the skin and can be seen
  • » A closed fracture or simple fracture is a condition wherein the bone is broken, but the skin is intact.

2. Hip Fractures

A hip fracture is a partial/ complete break of the thighbone, where it meets the pelvic bone. A serious injury that requires immediate medical attention, hip fractures are caused by falls or accidents. A stress fracture or hairline crack can also develop from overuse and repetitive motion of the bone.

Majority of hip fractures occur in people above 60 years of age. For them, a simple fall is all it may take to cause a hip fracture. In a small section of people, this may occur spontaneously.

3. Arthritis

A rheumatic disease that leads to intense pain, limited movement and swelling in the joints, arthritis can occur in both men and women, irrespective of their age.

  • » Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints and affect function and appearance of the hands and other parts of the body. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a form of arthritis in children below the age of 16. This condition leads to inflammation and stiffness of joints and may affect the bone development of the child. However, unlike adult rheumatoid arthritis, which lasts a lifetime, children often outgrow JRA.
  • » Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease that mostly occurs in adults above 40. Characterised by the breakdown of joint cartilage, osteoarthritis can occur in any joint and affects the hands, knees, hips, or spine.

4. Osteoporosis

A condition wherein the bones lose their mineral mass and become brittle and sponge-like, osteoporosis is mostly seen women post menopause. One of the main causes for osteoporosis is lack of physical exercise and Vitamin D levels.

5. Elbow Pain/ Problems

You may experience pain in the elbow due conditions like

  • » Cubital tunnel syndrome wherein you may feel a pain that’s similar to the sharp pain on hitting the “funny” bone in your elbow. The “funny” bone in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve - the nerve that originates in the side of the neck and ends in the fingers.
  • » Tennis elbow or inflammation of the tendons attached to the outside of the elbow of the arm bone (humerus). People with tennis elbow experience pain at the lateral aspect of the elbow, which may radiate into the forearm and occasionally the hand, along with weakness, especially when grasping something.
  • » Golfer’s elbow or Medial epicondylitis is characterised by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the inside of the elbow. This pain is caused due to damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm.

6. Fibromyalgia

A condition that causes pain in muscles and soft tissues all over the body, fibromyalgia is an ongoing, chronic condition that can affect your neck, shoulders, arms, back, hips, buttocks and legs. The pain may worsen in the morning and evening or last all day long. The pain may also worsen with activity, cold/ damp weather or anxiety/ stress.

7. Foot Problems

Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Foot problems that affect the heels, toes, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints of the foot; and it is always advisable to get a doctor to diagnose the exact reason of the problem.

8. Low Back Pain

Any dull/ occasional/ intense/ severe/ persistent pain in the lower back, which can affect your mobility or normal functioning. Low back pain can be caused by overuse and strenuous activities, traumas or injuries.

9. Neck Pain

Neck pains can be caused due to injuries or damage to the muscles and ligaments of the neck, a herniated cervical disk or arthritis or tumors and congenital abnormalities. Twisting and straining can also lead to a nagging neck ache.

10.Hand Pain

Diseases or disorders like arthritis, osteoarthritis and carpel tunnel syndrome (compression of the median nerve that leads to pain, numbness and difficulty in grabbing objects) can cause severe pain and decrease in function of your hands.

11. Shoulder Pain/ Problems

Though your shoulder is the most movable joint in your body, it is also an unstable joint. As the ball of the upper arm is larger than the socket of the shoulder, the shoulder is more susceptible to injuries. Shoulder pain can arise due to injury, over use or under use of the soft tissues muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround and support it.

Degenerative conditions and other diseases may also lead to shoulder problems, or generate pain in the nerves that travels to the shoulder.

The common conditions that affect the shoulder include dislocation; separation (when ligaments attached to the collarbone are torn or partially torn, away from the shoulder blade due to sudden, forceful blow to the shoulder or a fall); bursitis (when tendonitis and impingement syndrome cause inflammation of the bursa sacs that protect the shoulder); impingement syndrome (caused by the excessive squeezing or rubbing of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade); tendinosis (when the rotator cuff and/or biceps tendon become worn out); rotator cuff tear or frozen shoulder (a restrictive condition caused by injury).

12. Soft-Tissue Damage

Soft-tissue damage of muscles, ligaments, and tendons can result in pain, swelling, bruising, and damage. This includes contusions (bruises); sprains; Tendonitis; bursitis; stress injuries and strains. Athletes and non-athletes may suffer from similar soft-tissue injuries.

13. Knee Pain/ Problems

Knee pain is a common problem among adults, caused due to wear and tear from daily activities like walking, standing and lifting. Athletes are also highly prone to knee pain and problems. Knee pain, whether due to injury or ageing, can be nagging and even debilitating in certain cases.

Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.

14. Bone Cancer

Cancers in the bone may lead to swelling and extreme pain. One should seek immediate medical help to ascertain the real cause of bone/ joint pain.

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