Archive for the ‘Sprains & Strains’ Category

New! From The Wilderness Medicine Newsletter

February 10, 2012

For decades the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter has provided up-to-date information to pre-hospital and definitive care providers. Since becoming an on-line journal, the readership of the WMN has become international. Now the WMN has it’s own web site: www.wildernessmedicinenewsletter.com

Subscribers pay the same $15 a year subscription rate but have access to more than 165 articles from back issues as well as current issues. You can search the site either by category, or by key words making the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter site a much more useful reference for everything from reviewing splinting to the prevention and treatment of tropical diseases.

Check it out!

LOWER EXTREMITY INJURIES

January 4, 2008

Lower Leg Fracture – Tibia/Fibula:

May be an angulated fracture with impairment of circulation distal to the site of the fracture.
If angulated the fracture can be easily reduced into proper anatomical alignment with gentle Traction-In-Line (TIL).
Splint the lower leg in proper anatomical alignment with distal pulses intact.
A splint can be easily improvised with an ensolite pad or well-padded sticks held in place with cravats.
Splint with the foot held at 90 degrees.
Monitor circulation every 15 – 30 minutes.

Ankle Injuries:

“Ottawa Rules” can be used to help determine if the injury is a fracture or not.
The Ottawa Rules are:
Need to be an adult (i.e. good historian).
1. No tenderness over the malleoli (the lateral and medial aspects of the ankle).
2. No laxicity on inversion, eversion, or drawer test of the ankle.
3. They can walk 3 steps without pain or sensation that the ankle is going to collapse.
If suspicious of a fracture then treat the same way as a tibia/fibula fracture.
If a sprain then RICE the ankle and support with a sprained ankle bandage.

Video demonstration of applying a sprained ankle bandage:


Foot Fractures:

A “March Fracture” is a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal that is caused by a long march or hike.
Diagnosis – pain and tenderness over the center of the lateral arch of the foot.
Treatment is to support the foot well with a firm boot.

Fractured Toes:

May be angulated, is so apply TIL to straighten, move into proper anatomical position.
Splint the injured to by “buddy taping” the injured toe to the adjacent toe, with padding in between the toes for comfort and support.
Support the fractured toes by wearing a stiff-soled shoe to prevent flexion of the toes.

This blog is powered by the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, now celebrating 20 years of publication. The WMN is published and distributed online six times each year by TMC Books, and subscriptions cost as little as $10 per year. To find out more, or to subscribe online, click here.

Wilderness Orthopedics – Sprains and Strains

April 18, 2007

Sprains & Strains:Sprains and strains are by far the most common backcountry injuries.
Sprains and strains are injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the supporting structures of joints.

Signs & Symptoms of a Sprain/Strain:
Think of how a sprained ankle appears.
There is generalized pain and tenderness around the affected joint.
Unlike a fracture that is no point tenderness, if there is then suspect a fracture.
There is pain with movement of the affected joint.
There is pain with weight-bearing or use of the affected joint.
Swelling can be rapid and dramatic because of bleeding from the damaged blood vessels.
The area may become discolored over several hours, “black and blue” = ecchymosis.

Evaluation of a sprain/strain:
Consider the mechanism of injury.
Expose the injured area to look at the injury and the skin.
That includes removing boots and socks.
You cannot properly evaluate an injury that is hidden by clothing.
Gently palpate the area for pain, tenderness, and crepitation.
Put the injured joint through passive range of motion, that is, you gently move the joint and monitor for pain, loss of motion, or crepitation.
Loss of motion, a locked joint, indicates a dislocation.
Crepitation indicates a fracture.

Treatment: 
The goal is to minimize swelling. The less the sprain swells the faster it will heal. We use the acronym RICE to remind us of the principles to control swelling:
REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, & ELEVATION  
Rest, put the affected joint at rest. This will minimize blood flow and chance of further injury.
Ice, keep the area cool, this causes vasoconstriction thus reducing bleeding into the damaged tissues.
Compression, with a wide ACE wrap applies counter pressure to damaged tissues, again helping to control bleeding.
Elevation, raise the affected area above the level of the heart to decrease blood pressure and aid in the control of bleeding.
Immobilize & support affected joint. Splinting the affected area puts the injury at rest allowing the healing process to begin and continue.

This blog is powered by the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, now celebrating 20 years of publication. The WMN is published and distributed online six times each year by TMC Books, and subscriptions cost as little as $10 per year. To find out more, or to subscribe online, click here.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers