Sports Injury Part 3: Acute Injuries

Acute injuries can occur in the knee from a sudden trauma or blow or from an abnormal twisting/movement. Some acute injuries that are common with the knee include: sprains/strains, ligament tears, fractures, or dislocation.
A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament. Sprains can vary in degree; mild, moderate and severe. Moderate and severe degrees of sprains indicate a ligament is partially or completely torn which causes intense pain and swelling. A strain is a twist, pull or tear of a muscle or tendon that also varies from mild- severe. Moderate and severe strains indicate that some or most function is lost, slightly torn or completely ruptured. Symptoms may include pain, muscle spasm, loss of function, swelling, and inflammation.
Ligament tears in the knee are very common among sports injuries. The ligaments connect the thigh bone to lower leg bones. Acute injuries are usually partial tears or ruptures of the ligament, the most severe indicating that the ligament is completely torn and split into 2 pieces and therefore the knee joint is unstable.
A knee fracture refers to the fracture or break of any part of the knee joint (patella, femoral condyles or tibial plateau). A dislocation of the knee occurs when the ligaments (that are responsible for stability) are torn. A dislocation occurs when bones that make up the knee are shifted out of place. Knee dislocation symptoms include severe pain, in some cases there may be numbness or loss of feeling below the knee. When the knee relocates it will be followed by swelling, and pain with movement.
The shoulder is at increased risk for injury due to the mobility of the joint. It is important to closely pay attention to any shoulder pain. Common acute injuries of the shoulder include: clavicle fractures, rotator cuff tears, and dislocation.
Clavicle fractures are among the most common of shoulder injuries, a fracture indicates a break in the bone. It is usually caused by a fall on the lateral shoulder or a blow or fall to an outstretched arm.
Glenohumeral dislocations are among the most common area of dislocation injuries. It is often caused by a direct blow or a sports injury. Dislocation injuries can be incredibly painful, accompanied by swelling, and muscle spasms.
The rotator cuff is the support structure for the shoulder. When a tear occurs here, the patient will experience extreme pain and inability or increased difficulty in rotating the arm. Full tears would depend on the degree of trauma that would most likely be due to a bad fall, motor vehicle accident, or dislocation.
Lower Back
Acute low back pain is often associated with a sudden injury, fall or twisting. Some of the more severe injuries of the lower back include: herniated or ruptured disk, spinal stenosis, and strains and tears to the muscles or ligaments supporting the back.
Disks help cushion the spinal column and put space between the vertebrae of the spine. When the disk moves out of place or ruptures from an injury it puts pressure on the spinal nerves causing pain and numbness.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that causes increased pressure on the spinal cord. Symptoms often include numbness, cramping and weakness in arms or legs when walking or standing up.
A muscle strain (pulled muscle) is an overstretched or torn muscle that is very common in the lower back. Back strain is often accompanied by the muscles stiffening and inflammation that could cause muscles spasms. Pulled muscles are often caused by lifting a heavy object, sudden twisting or a fall.

We Can Help!
Here at the North York Madison Clinic, sports related injuries are a major focus of our practice. We have a variety of therapies and highly skilled professionals to help you prevent and recover from sports related injuries. Our goal is to help patients reach and maintain their optimum health! On staff we have a chiropractor, three registered massage therapists, a physiotherapist, a naturopathic doctor, and a kinesiologist. All three areas of injuries discussed here, can be helped with the use of our ultrasound procedure, which helps remove scar tissue in the area. Soft tissue therapy is also useful to help take the tension off of an area by removing scar tissue. The practioner’s here at the Madison Sports Injury and Rehabilitation Clinic, also teach stretches and exercises that are meant to help rehabilitate your acute injuries. Active rehabilitation and physiotherapy are useful in the treatment and rehabilitation of acute injuries, as the practioners will actively work with the patient to restore, and maintain strength through the implementation of exercises. Don’t ignore any injury as it will prolong and worsen the symptoms. We are more than happy to assist you and create a treatment plan best suited for your particular injury.