Sports and outdoor activities may be fun, but they often come with their fair share of bumps, bruises, and injuries.
If it is just a stinger or a bump that will turn to a bruise and a rainbow of colors as it heals, icing it or probably just “walking it off” is all you might need to treat it. However, certain injuries require prompt treatment to prevent severe or long-term complications. It is, therefore, important to know when walking it off or icing it is not the answer.
Knowing when to seek medical treatment for them requires paying attention to the symptoms—which are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
Let’s talk about the most common injuries associated with sports and outdoor activities and which of them yield symptoms that warrant immediate medical treatment by an orthopedic urgent care doctor.
Ankle injuries are very common, on and off the field. Walking on uneven surfaces, wearing high heels, stepping wrong on a curb, or jumping and landing wrong are just some of the many ways you can injure your ankle.
The most common ankle injuries are strains (injury to muscle or tendon) and sprains (injury to a ligament), both of which have the same symptoms. These include bruising, swelling, intense immediate pain, and inability to put weight on your injured foot. R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and wearing a stabilizing boot are useful methods for treating ankle sprains and strains.
There are serious ankle injuries like fractures or ligament tears that you may need a different method of treatment for— a surgery. Keep in mind that fractures and sprains/strains share similar symptoms. So if they don’t ease up with the R.I.C.E treatment method after a few days, you do need to see an orthopedic urgent care doctor for proper evaluation.
When you have an ankle ligament tear, you will experience a restricted range of motion, swelling, pain especially when you bear weight on the affected foot, and instability of the ankle. Medical attention is required for appropriate immobilization of the area and for assessment of the type and severity of the ligament tear.
The longer you leave serious ankle injuries undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult recovery can be. Your orthopedic urgent care doctor will evaluate your condition through physical exam, medical history, and imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs. These are crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment that will get you on the move again as quickly as possible.
The knee consists of bones from the upper and lower legs, ligaments, the kneecap (patella), and menisci, which act as shock absorbers, providing cushion to your lower leg from the weight of the rest of your body. Activities that involve jumping, sudden stops and change in direction, and twisting can cause knee injuries. Symptoms of knee injuries include pain, swelling, inability to bear weight, and a feeling of instability.
R.I.C.E remains a useful method in treating sprains, strains, and other simple injuries involving the knee. However, in cases of serious injuries such as complete ACL tears, meniscus tears, and fractures, surgery might be recommended. If you cannot complete your activity after the injury, chances are, you may be having any of the abovestated injuries, which you need to go to an orthopedic urgent care center for a thorough evaluation and prompt treatment.
There are many different types of bone fractures, and they are classified according to their severity, shape, and position. You will likely know that you have a fracture because you will feel intense pain, difficulty moving the affected area, noticeable bump or twist, and swelling. Being in tune with your own body and paying careful attention to the symptoms will help you distinguish a fracture from a sprain. If you are unsure, it is best to seek medical attention, especially if basic remedies do not provide relief.
The type of treatment you will need will depend on the type of fracture you have. If you have a stress fracture, which is a tiny crack in your bone, you may only need to rest the affected area and immobilize it. Other types of fractures often require urgent medical attention. Open fractures, for example, need immediate, aggressive treatment to prevent infection. Complicated fractures, such as those in long bones, require surgery to hold them steady and back in place.
Treatment is geared toward restoring the best possible function of the injured part after healing. Restriction of movement or immobilization is aimed at providing the injured bone with conditions conducive to optimum healing.
High-Quality Orthopedic Urgent Care in Fairless Hills, PA
Orthopedic injuries have a funny way of occurring on their own timetable— no way could you prepare for them. At Patient Care Now Urgent Care, you can have peace of mind knowing that our orthopedic experts are ready to help with your unexpected emergencies 24/7. You can trust our board-certified, experienced orthopedic urgent care physicians to accurately diagnose your condition and provide you with the treatment that you need, when you need it.
If you or someone you know experienced an injury that you think should be evaluated right away, don’t worry about making an appointment – simply walk in, or feel free to call us at (267) 202-6433. We are open seven days a week all year-round, including holidays. We look forward to taking care of you and your family!