Do’s and don’ts in an orthopedic emergency

Do's And Don'ts In An Orthopedic Emergency.

Simply put, when one injures a bone or a soft tissue that might require instant medical treatment in order to dodge additional suffering or damage to one’s body is termed as an Orthopaedic Emergency. Sudden acute injury or trauma, complications from existing conditions or surgery may result in an orthopaedic emergency.

The following injuries may be the cause of an orthopaedic emergency:

  • Fractures or broken bone that may require closing or alignment, surgery, casting or splinting
  • Concussions
  • Dislocations
  • Tendon Ruptures

However, existing conditions or post-surgery may also be the result of orthopaedic emergencies that may include the following:

  • Infection
  • Blood flow blocked by swelling
  • Re-injury of the damaged bone or tissue
  • Blood clots

Precautionary Measures
Immediate precautions steps can be taken to avoid further trauma or harm to the body. Here is what you should or should not be doing:

The Do’s:
The bleeding needs to be stopped by applying pressure to the wound with the help of a disinfected dressing, clean cloth or a piece of clothing.

  • It is best to immobilize the area. If you know how to splint, apply one to the area above and below the fracture regions. Discomfort to the patient can be further reduced by additional padding.
  • To minimize swelling and ease pain, apply ice packs but not directly on the skin. It is best to cover the ice in a towel, piece of cloth or any other available material.
  • Lay down the injured individual in a position where the head is somewhat lower than the trunk and keep the legs in an elevated posture. This should be done if he or she feels faint or experiences shortness of breath or rapid breaths and helps to treat for shock.

The Don’ts:
In order to avoid any additional harm or trauma to the patient, it is best not to move the person in any way.

  • Even if you are trained in splinting, you should not try to realign the broken bone or push it in, if it is sticking out.

For injuries such as concussion, fractures, ligament tears or tendon damage, not seeking medical treatment at the right time can lead to serious consequences for your overall health. You may be tempted to act tough and ride it out, however, fractures to the bone, damage to muscles, ligaments or tendons should not be taken lightly. If such injuries remain untreated, it can result in further health complications which will mean additional expenditures, inconvenience and may even lead to a disability in the future.

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