Friday, January 19, 2018

Sports and Broken Legs: What You Should Know

If you’re a serious basketball fan, you’ve likely seen one of your favorite players get injured in the course of a season and have to miss weeks or even months of games while rehabilitating.

Injuries are common for some sports, especially team sports that require physical body contact with other players. Although the risk might be discouraging for some people, sports and physical activities are good for your physical and mental health. You only need to be aware of sports-related injuries such as fractures and how to manage them, as accidents do happen.

What is a Fracture?

A fracture occurs when a bone in the body cracks or breaks. Fractures are generally classified as compound or simple. In a compound or open fracture, the broken bone punctures through the skin while in a simple or closed fracture, the skin remains intact but there might be an obvious deformity. Signs and symptoms usually include swelling, pain, and limited movement in the injured area.

Athletes may suffer from fractures as a result of repetitive stress or due to a strong impact from an outside source that exceeds the bone threshold.

Broken Bones in the Lower Body

In the United States, approximately 35 million young people participate in different types of sports. Sports-related fractures are more common in men than women and are usually acquired from football, rugby, and skiing. Reported cases of fractures typically involved the upper limb, including the fingers, the wrist, and the arms. Although fractures in the lower limb are less common, fractures caused by stress are increasing in number and 90% of these are located in the lower extremities.

First Aid

Fractures from competitive sports are not usually life-threatening but these injuries require immediate care. If a healthcare professional is not around during the incident or is still on the way, here are some of the things you can do to help prior to their arrival.

Recognize the symptoms

If a person has a broken bone in his or her body, there can be:
  • Pain in the area that intensifies upon movement
  • Numbness
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Obvious deformity
  • A bone visibly piercing through the skin
  • Bleeding
  • Injured extremity is shorter than the other

Stop the bleeding

Use a clean piece of cloth to apply direct pressure to the wound without moving the bone.

Stay still

Let the person stay as still as possible and immobilize the injured area using a splint.

Cold compress

Apply a cold pack to the affected area to help reduce the swelling and relieve pain.

The Road to Recovery

It usually takes 6 to 12 months for the bones to heal significantly. The doctor or surgeon will be the one to determine if the bones are fully recovered and if the patient is allowed to bear weight again in that area. This depends greatly on the location of the fracture, its severity, and the surgical procedure done.

While on the recovery stage, it’s best to wear leg sleeves which can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and speed up your recovery time. If you are not sure what leg sleeves to get, you can check out this list.

There are also a few things you can do at home to help you on the road to recovery.

Adjust your home environment to aid your temporary needs.

If you are using crutches, a cane, or a walker, ask your family and friends to help you make your home fall-proof.
  • Rearrange the furniture to make navigation within your house easier.
  • Remove rugs or fix them to avoid tripping.
  • Make sure your house is well-lighted.
  • Keep a phone at an arm’s reach so that it’s easy to call for help in case something bad happens.
Do physical and mental exercises

Aside from working on your rehabilitation exercises as often as prescribed by a specialist, you also need to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally healthy, as disabilities often take a toll on the human spirit.
  • Have a support team to help you gain a positive outlook.
  • Do puzzles, play video games or other board games.
  • Communicate with friends and family daily.
  • Participate in social events.
Recovering from a fracture takes time and patience. Bone remodeling, the process of bone formation, requires a lot of energy. To help your bones and soft tissues with the healing process, increase your intake of high-calorie foods. Protein is also a key ingredient in repairing injured tissues so incorporate protein-rich foods in your diet as well.

This is a guest blog entry.

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