Orthopaedic Injury Information
Hundreds of athletes sustain acute injuries everyday while participating in sports. An acute sports injury is one in which there is a specific mechanism of injury (hit by ball, plant and twist, collision with opponent) and an immediate onset of symptoms including swelling, pain, bleeding, and possible deformity.
A number of types of sports injuries can be considered acute including:
• Sprains (injury to ligaments)
• Strains (injury to muscles)
• Contusions (bruise)
• Subluxation (partial dislocation that reduces itself)
If there are signs or symptoms of a serious injury (deformity, severe swelling and/or pain), emergency first aid should be provided while keeping the athlete calm and still until emergency service personnel arrive on scene.
However, most acute sports injuries can be treated safely at home using the P.R.I.C.E. principle. The acronym stands for:
The principles of P.R.I.C.E. should be used for the first 48 – 72 hours immediately after the injury. The goal during this time frame is to control the amount of swelling to the injured area, prevent further injury, and reduce pain. Following these principles can effectively reduce the amount of swelling in an injured area thereby reducing the amount of time required for rehabilitation.
If you suspect that you have suffered an acute sports injury, it is critical to see your license athletic trainer to be evaluated or contact OrthoDirect for a doctor’s appointment.