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Muscle, Bone and Joint Emergency

Some signs of serious muscle, bone or joint injuries:

  1. Significant deformity
  2. Bruising and swelling
  3. Inability to use the affected part normally
  4. Bone fragments sticking out of the wound
  5. Person feels bone grating after injury
  6. Heard a snap or pop sound at the time of injury
  7. The injured area is cold or numb
  8. Cause of the injury suggests that the injury may be severe

Some major types of injury:

  1. Fractures
  2. Dislocation
  3. Sprains
  4. Strains


A fracture is a complete break, a chip or a crack in the bone. Fractures are open or closed. An open fracture involves an open wound, when a bone end tears through the skin. However a closed fracture is more common. The open fracture is more dangerous and severe.

Care for a closed facture- after assessing the injury, ask the person to keep the area still. Try to immobilize the area by applying a light padding underneath that area and applying a broad sling. Later tie the affected part with another limb of the body or another body part to keep it sturdy from movement. Either call for medical help or transport the person to the hospital.

In case of an open fracture, first assess the situation, reassure the injured person, prevent any movement of the area, and stem the bleeding by applying hand pressure using a sterile dressing on either side of the open wound. Do not put pressure on the protruding bone.

In most cases do not straighten the fractured limb, let the EMS guide you over the phone.
Using a light pad and a broad sling immobilize the affected part, check and monitor the CAB, and never bandage too tightly to restrict the blood flow.


A dislocation is the movement of a bone at a joint from its normal position. When the bone is moved out of place, the joint no longer functions. Usually dislocations happen at the shoulder, elbow, wrist, jaw and hip.

Try to immobilize the dislocated part by placing light padding underneath it and a broad sling, subsequently tie an arm sling to further sturdy it. In the case of a dislocated shoulder, because the person is in pain, the situation may be very distressing. Arrange to take the person to the hospital

Sprain and strain:

A sprain is the tearing of the ligaments at a joint. A severe sprain can also involve a fracture or dislocation. Sprains mostly occur at the ankle, knee, wrist and fingers.
A strain is the stretching and tearing of a muscle. They usually occur in the neck, back, thigh, or the back of the lower leg.

The most common indicator of the severity of the injury is the intensity of the pain. Also the area may be swollen, red and bruised. Follow the below mentioned general guidelines (RICE):

Rest: Do not move or straighten the injury

Immobilize: Try to stabilize the person in the position he/she was found. Splint or sling the injured part only and caution to move the person; it should not be more painful.

Cold: Indirectly cool the part using ice for a maximum of 20 minutes. Remove it for 20 minutes and then cool the part again.

Elevate: Only elevate the part if it does not cause more pain.

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