Injuries at School: Consulting an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Back to school is an exciting time for kids and parents alike. Children look forward to reuniting with their friends and getting back into their favorite fall sports. But back to school also signifies a spike in some common orthopaedic injuries for many kids.

As a parent, it can be difficult to determine how serious an injury is. If your child is hurt at school, you likely did not observe the incident and therefore may not have an accurate picture of the severity of the injury. So how do you know if your child’s injury is more than just a playground oops? Consider the following questions?

  1. Is your child able to move all of his or her body parts? This is especially important when it comes to a potential head/neck injury. If your child is not able to move all body parts, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
  2. Is your child experiencing numbness or tingling? Again, in cases or head or neck injury, this is a red flag and must be assessed immediately.
  3. Can your child bear weight on the injured body part? Inability to stand or walk can signify a sprain or broken bone in the lower extremity. If this is the case, an orthopaedic surgeon can easily evaluate the injury and determine the best treatment.
  4. Is the body party swollen or disfigured? Many orthopaedic injuries mirror one another with symptoms. As a parent, it is tough to distinguish the difference between a sprain, broken bone or torn ligaments. For this reason, it is important to have an orthopaedic surgeon examine your child to diagnose and treat an injury that includes swelling or a body part that looks disfigured after an injury.
  5. Can your child put pressure on the injured body part? This questions is similar to asking if they can bear weight on the injured body part. With the upper body, it is important to see if your child will let you put moderate pressure on the injury and if they can move it without pain.

If a back to school injury has gotten your child down and out, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. It can be difficult to know whether or not the injury warrants a trip to the emergency room, urgent care or a visit to an orthopaedic surgeon. If you have any doubt at all, it is better to be safe than sorry.





Treating Shin Splints: Five Tips for Successful Recovery

Shin splints are a very common and painful injury. Frequently associated with running, this condition is often thought of as an overuse injury. If you have developed pain along the inner edge of your tibia, it is possible that you have shin splints.

Suffering from shin splints can make the most simple daily activities painful. It may be beneficial to see a doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon to rule out other issues such as stress fractures or tendinitis. Once you have appropriately identified the cause of your pain, it is possible to treat the issue at home.

There is not a quick fix to alleviate the pain caused by shin splints. However, trying these five simple steps can gradually bring relief.

  1. Use ice or a cold pack at various times throughout the day. Applying ice to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes at a time, can help with the pain. Remember, it is never safe to apply ice directly to the skin. Use a cloth or towel as a barrier to protect your skin.
  2. Rest your legs. Shin splints are often associated with starting a new exercise routine and doing too much too quickly. It can take weeks to recover from this injury so you will need to be patient and trust that rested the impacted area is the best course of action to treat the issue.
  3. Some medications can address both pain and swelling. Ibuprofren, aspirin and naproxen can be effective in treating both of these symptoms associated with shin splints.
  4. Physical therapy exercises can also be helpful in treating shin splints. Simply stretching the muscles in your legs can help with tightness and make activities such as walking less painful. Increasing flexibility in your legs can make a big difference. Additionally, working with a certified massage therapist to increase blood flow can be beneficial.
  5. Picking supportive footwear, especially footwear with orthotics, can be very helpful in treating your shin splints. For some people, footwear can be at the root of the issue. If you have been exercising with footwear that is not supportive, it is possible to develop a variety of injuries, not just shin splints. Therefore, choosing the correct footwear is both preventative and corrective.

If you think you are suffering from shin splints, be sure to see a doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon to get a proper diagnosis. Specifically, a foot and ankle fellowship trained surgeon will have expertise in this area of the body.