Most Common Orthopedic Injuries


Orthopedic injuries are common among athletes and non-athletes alike. They can happen to anyone, at any time, and often result in long-term pain. Some orthopedic injuries occur when the muscles, tendons, cartilage or bones of the body are damaged or overstressed by an accident or overexertion. These types of injuries can range from mild to severe depending on how much damage is done to the affected area. Minor orthopedic injuries may get better over time with rest and therapy but more serious ones may require surgery or other medical interventions for healing

These are the most common orthopedic injuries

The most common orthopedic injuries can be broken down into five categories:

  • Strains and sprains are tears to ligaments, the fibrous tissue that connects bones together. They can occur when a joint is twisted or overextended, causing damage to the ligaments that hold it in place.
  • Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons—the tough bands of tissue connecting muscles to bones—and can result from overuse or using improper mechanics during physical activity.
  • Back injuries include conditions such as spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal) or herniated discs (where part of a single vertebrae bone protrudes into other structures) that may cause pain in your upper body and neck area.
  • Shoulder instability occurs when your shoulder joint becomes unstable due to an injury, repetitive overuse, improper technique during sports activities like throwing balls or swimming laps underwater.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are one of the most common knee injuries among athletes; it causes severe pain during movement and makes walking difficult because you have little flexibility in your knee joint after surgery has been performed on this damaged region within your leg structure.”

Anyone can suffer orthopedic injuries.

While you may think that orthopedic injuries are something that happen most often to athletes, anyone can suffer an orthopedic injury. Age is not a factor, though certain sports do have a higher risk of injury than others. For instance, running is considered one of the safest sports in terms of overall injury rates. However, if you’re over the age of 50 and have been running for many years without taking time off from training, you may be at increased risk for knee injuries.

The list below shows some examples of people who suffered from orthopedic injuries:

  • A teenage girl who broke her leg playing soccer when she was tackled by another player on her team;
  • An elderly man who fell down stairs and fractured his hip;
  • A woman in her twenties who hurt herself while mountain biking with friends after getting thrown from her bike due to hitting a large rock hidden underneath some leaves along their route; and
  • A young boy who injured his back while lifting weights in his home gym set up by his father (unsupervised).

Strains and sprains

  • What is a strain?
  • A strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon.
  • The most common type of muscle strain is called a contusion, which results from direct force on the muscle or tendon. This can occur during physical activity that involves intense contractions of your muscles, such as running or weight lifting.
  • What is a sprain?
  • A sprain occurs when ligaments become stretched beyond their normal range of motion and/or torn. This usually happens when you twist one ankle or knee outwards while standing with your feet close together (also known as “rolling”). It can also happen if someone falls onto your ankle while playing sports such as tennis or basketball.


Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon. This can occur in any muscle that attaches to a bone, but it most commonly occurs at the elbow or wrist. Tendon injuries happen when you overuse a muscle, stretch it too far and put it under stress for too long without proper preparation and recovery time.

The best way to prevent tendonitis is through exercise and stretching programs that are tailored specifically to your needs as an athlete. To treat tendonitis, take a break from the activity that caused your injury until the pain goes away completely (about two weeks), then gradually resume activities with low-impact exercises such as swimming or biking until you’re able to return to full strength training again without causing further damage.

Meniscus tears

A meniscus tear occurs when the cartilage that cushions your knee joint is damaged. There are two menisci, or crescent-shaped discs, in each knee and they act as shock absorbers and stabilizers for the knee. A torn meniscus can be painful but usually heals without surgery. Meniscus tears are common in athletes who participate in sports like soccer, football and basketball because these activities put repeated stress on the knees.

Back injuries

Back injuries are common and can be debilitating. They often occur as the result of overuse, repetitive stress, or injury. Lifting heavy objects is one of the most common causes of back pain. Sitting for long periods of time can also cause back injuries due to strain on your spine and muscles.

Shoulder instability

Shoulder instability is a common, painful problem that results from the shoulder joint becoming too loose. The shoulder joint is made up of three bones—the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper arm bone)—as well as tendons, muscles and ligaments that connect these bones. Shoulder instability occurs when any of these structures become damaged or stretched out over time, leading to loss of function in the shoulder region.

Symptoms of shoulder instability include:

  • Pain in your upper body when you move your arm or try to lift something heavy
  • A feeling that your arm might pop out of its socket at any moment
  • Arthritis pain in the affected area

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are the most common sports-related orthopedic injury, affecting athletes of all ages. ACL tears can be especially devastating to young athletes who are still developing their skills and confidence.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid contact with the knee when playing sports, which means that many players will experience an ACL tear at some point in their athletic career. Because of this, you should know what causes these injuries so you can avoid them or better treat one if it happens to you.

Meniscus Tear

One of the most common orthopedic injuries is a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a shock absorber in the knee that helps to stabilize the joint and reduce pain and swelling. You can injure your meniscus by twisting or falling on your knee, which can cause it to tear or separate from its attachment to the femur (thighbone) or tibia (shinbone).

Meniscus tears are fairly common among people who participate in sports such as football or soccer; however, they also occur frequently in adults who have normal activity levels. The severity of a tear depends on where it happens along the length of your thigh bone. If you have more than one torn piece, this increases your risk of developing arthritis in later life due to having abnormal stress placed upon these areas over time—especially if they’re located near weight-bearing joints such as those found within knees and ankles.

Symptoms associated with this type include:  pain when bending down/standing up straight;  swelling around affected areas; having trouble walking without discomfort (may require crutches); tenderness when touched gently at specific points near injured sites; possible clicking sounds while moving around after waking up each morning (from popping noises between bones rubbing together).

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is a partial or complete tear of one or more of the four tendons that attach to your shoulder blade and connect to the upper end of your arm bone. The injury can occur in any part of the tendon, but is most common at its attachment site on the shoulder blade.

What are the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear?

You may notice pain when lifting objects using your shoulder or arm muscles, particularly when lifting heavy objects over your head. You might also feel pain after performing repetitive motions such as throwing, carrying bags and furniture up stairs, or sleeping on either side with arms folded under your pillow. Pain may occur during activities such as reaching behind you (trunk bending), raising your arm above shoulder level (shoulder abduction), lowering it behind you (trunk flexion) and rotating toward the opposite side (internal rotation). Symptoms may become more noticeable when performing these motions repeatedly over time, so talk with a doctor if they start hurting after doing something new like doing pushups at home fitness videos while recovering from surgery performed several weeks earlier!

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), also known as “runner’s knee,” is caused by the kneecap rubbing against the thigh bone during activity. This causes pain in the front of your knee and sometimes in the back of your knee as well. People with PFPS may feel a burning sensation or stiffness when they bend their knees.

The exact cause of PFPS isn’t clear, but it’s thought that tight hamstrings, weak quadriceps, or poor running form can lead to this condition. If you have PFPS, you’ll want to work on strengthening these muscles to help prevent future injuries:

  • Quads – Your quads are responsible for straightening out your leg at the hip joint and extending at the knee joint; these two motions are crucial to running efficiently and staying injury free! Try squats with weights until resistance becomes too much before moving onto other exercises such as lunges or step-ups (where you place one foot on a stair).

Lateral Epicondylitis

A lateral epicondylitis is a condition in which there is inflammation and pain on the outside of your elbow. It is caused by repetitive motions of your wrist and hand, such as gripping the handlebars, lifting heavy objects or even just playing tennis. The most common symptoms include pain at the outer side of your forearm that typically gets worse when you try to straighten out your arm or lift things above shoulder level.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it’s important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose this injury before it becomes more serious. Treatment options vary depending on how severe the injury is but usually consist of rest and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin to help relieve any pain or swelling around the elbow (swelling will cause more discomfort).

Rotator cuff injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. A rotator cuff injury can occur when the tendon connecting your arm bone (humerus) to your shoulder blade becomes torn or strained, causing pain and reduced mobility in the shoulder area.

If you experience symptoms like:

  • Pain in your shoulder or arm that increases when lifting something heavy or reaching behind you
  • Weakness in one arm compared to the other
  • Loss of motion in one or more of these joints: Shoulder, elbow and/or wrist

Runner’s knee

  • Runner’s knee. Runners are prone to patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which can occur when the tendons that attach your kneecap to your thigh muscles rub against the underside of your kneecap. This causes pain in the front of your knee and makes it difficult for you to run.
  • Shin splints. These are caused by inflammation of one or more muscles or tendons along the lower third of your shinbone (tibia). They’re most commonly experienced by people who play field sports such as soccer, football, basketball, and tennis—but they can also be caused by overuse while running or walking long distances on hard surfaces. Painful symptoms include tenderness below the tibia along its length; bruising; swelling; and difficulty running due to pain in one leg when landing after taking a step forward with both feet planted firmly on level ground without bending either knee excessively forward toward each other as happens when we stride out briskly instead of walking slowly with bent knees at normal pace


Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis). Other types include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis — This type affects the small joints in your hands and feet first but can spread to other areas of your body over time. It’s an autoimmune disease caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues, including cartilage and bone.
  • Gout — This type occurs when uric acid crystals build up in one or more joints due to high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). It’s commonly related to eating foods high in purines — asparagus, mushrooms, liver and kidney meats — which lead to excess production of uric acid by means of an enzyme called xanthine oxidase within cells lining certain organs such as kidneys or bladder walls; this enzyme is produced from amino acids present within red meat consumption as well!

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common orthopedic injuries. In fact, it’s estimated that 70 percent of people will experience lower back pain at some point during their lives. This type of pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Working at a desk or computer for long periods of time
  • Being overweight
  • Having poor circulation or nerve damage in your legs, feet or toes (diabetes)

Treating lower back pain depends on its cause, but medication and physical therapy may be enough to manage symptoms in some cases. Surgery isn’t usually an option unless other treatments aren’t working. The best way to prevent lower back pain is to exercise regularly and eat right—it also helps if you get regular check-ups with your doctor if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Tennis elbow/golfer’s elbow

  • Tennis elbow is a condition that results from repetitive use of the forearm muscles and tendons. It can be caused by activities such as tennis, racquetball, golf, or weightlifting.
  • Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow but instead affects the outside portion of your elbow (the medial epicondyle). This injury is often caused by activities such as baseball pitching or golfing.
  • The main causes of these injuries are overuse and muscle imbalance between flexors and extensors. Overusing any muscle or tendon can cause tendonitis at some point if you don’t give it rest time in between workouts/sessions/games/etc…
  • Treatments include rest from activity until symptoms go away (usually up to 2 weeks), icing the affected area after exercise/workout sessions, strengthening exercises for wrist curls/reverse wrist curls with light weights held in both hands behind head while standing upright with feet shoulder width apart; avoid using too much weight so as not to aggravate existing condition further; stretching exercises for wrist flexion/extension against resistance band held around wrists when elbows are bent at 90 degrees; avoiding trigger movements which exacerbate pain such as lifting heavy objects overhead with arms straight out in front rather than bending elbows slightly before lifting


If you’re dealing with any of these injuries or would like to prevent them in the future, talk to your doctor about what treatment options are right for you. There are many ways to treat orthopedic injuries and pain—and every person’s situation is unique. The most important thing is to stay positive and know that there are people out there who understand what it feels like when an injury keeps you from doing all the things you love!

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