Physiotherapists play a major role in helping you regain your independence
Joint injuries can often be the result of a fall when you hit the ground too heavily or twist the joint as you land. Immediate damage may show as swelling, followed by severe bruising around the joint.
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Joint injuries are most common in the shoulder, knee and ankle often involving fit young people. Sometimes the effects of a joint injury can reappear years later when osteoarthritis develops.
The cause of fractures (broken bones) is similar. In young people it is sometimes the long bones between the joints that take the impact and are broken.
A fracture in the leg frequently makes it impossible to walk immediately following the injury. In older people, fractures are often at the wrist or hip, and may need a long period of recovery.
If you suspect you have broken a bone, or that the supporting structures around a joint have been damaged, you often need to go to the Accident and Emergency service at your local hospital, where you may get a plaster cast, to keep the bone still while it heals. Sometimes an orthopaedic surgeon has to do a repair.
Physiotherapists play a major role in helping you regain your independence once the initial healing has occurred. This often involves an exercise programme specifically made for you, and can include the use of gym equipment to help you regain your strength and any movement lost in the joint. You may also need advice on how to use crutches or other walking aids.
Muscle strains are common. They can occur when you stretch or reach out past your normal range while running, playing sport, gardening etc. A muscle tear is more serious as some of the muscle fibres will be broken.