Hollyburn Medical Centre
#210-575 16th St
West Vancouver
BC V7V 4Y1

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(604) 926-2115

Patient Education
Disclaimer: This is the patient reference information section of our website. Please be aware that all information provided by our website on surgical procedures, injections and radiofrequency ablation is for informational purposes only. No invasive procedures are performed at our clinic.
Injuries

Injuries

A SIMPLE LESSON IN ANATOMY

JOINTS

  • The place where the ends of two bones come together.
  • The ends of the bones are covered by an extremely smooth substance called hyaline cartilage.
  • When you damage this covering it leads to osteoarthritis.
  • Damage may be caused from trauma, overuse or systemic disorders.


LIGAMENTS

  • They attach one bone to another.
  • They hold the joint in place and help protect it from outside forces.
  • For example, if you receive a blow to the outside of your knee the ligaments on the inside of the knee will assist in protecting you.
  • Another example is when you go over on your ankle. The ligaments on the outside of your foot will be overstretched (sprained) because the forces on it are too great for it to withstand.
  • Ligaments are not elastic, therefore, once ligaments have been
    sprained they will not regain their original shape. They will heal but the joint
    will be more loose and will depend more on the muscles to hold it stable.

TENDONS

  • They join muscles to bones.
  • They stretch more than ligaments but not as much as muscles.
  • Most injuries occur where the tendon attaches to the bone or where it attaches to the muscle.
  • For example, overstretching the achilles will cause a tendonitis at the heel bone, midtendon, or at the attachment to the calf muscle.


MUSCLES

  • These structures do the work.
  • Muscles cross either one or two joints and are responsible for moving one bone on the other.
  • Injuries to muscles occur in a multitude of ways including trauma and overstretching (straining).
  • Trauma to the muscle is when an individual is hit in the muscle by an outside force, i.e. by another player during a rugby game.
  • Strains to muscles are caused by overuse, poor body mechanics, weak or tight muscles. For example, a soccer player kicks a ball using all the strength of the muscles in the front of his leg. He could damage the front muscles by using too much force or the back muscles by overstretching them.
  • Strains usually resolve quicker than muscle tears.


NERVES

  • These structures originate in the brain and spinal cord and are responsible for relaying information from your body to your brain.
  • When nerves are activated they make the muscles move.
  • Nerves are responsible for sensations such as pain, touch, and temperature.
  • They can be injured like any other tissue in the body, but usually take longer to heal.
  • When you have an injury to a muscle or joint, the nerves do not work as efficiently at relaying information between the damaged structures and the brain. This is often referred to as the “body to brain connection”.
  • Injured nerves need to be retrained. This is called 'proprioception' and is part of the physiotherapy treatment.


BLOOD VESSELS

  • These structures are called arteries and veins.
  • Arteries supply blood to the tissues after the blood has picked up oxygen from the lungs. They are under high pressure.
  • Veins return the blood to the lungs after the oxygen has been dropped off at the joints or muscles. They are under low pressure.
  • Because arteries are under pressure, they bleed more than veins when you have an injury.
  • When you have an injury to the joint or muscle, blood vessels are also injured. Before the tissue can repair itself, the blood vessels must first repair themselves.
  • New blood vessels will form in the damaged area to allow nutrients to be brought to the area to repair the injured tissue.
  • It is therefore important to Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate the injured area to prevent further bleeding and swelling and to promote early recovery.

Remember “P.R.I.C.E.”:

Protect
Rest
Ice
Compress
Elevate