Health Topics

Injuries and wounds

Shoulder Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Clavicle Injuries
Collarbone Injuries
Frozen Shoulder
Scapula Injuries

Your shoulder joint is composed of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). Your shoulders are the most movable joints in your body. They can also be unstable because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. To remain in a stable or normal position, the shoulder must be anchored by muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Because your shoulder can be unstable, it can be easily injured. Common problems include

  • Sprains and strains
  • Dislocations
  • Separations
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Fractures
  • Arthritis

Health care providers diagnose shoulder problems by using your medical history, a physical exam, and imaging tests.

Often, the first treatment for shoulder problems is RICE. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Other treatments include exercise and medicines to reduce pain and swelling. If those don't work, you may need surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Shoulder Injuries
Acromioclavicular Joint
Shoulder Fractures
Shoulder Dislocation
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Your shoulder joint is composed of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). Your shoulders are ...
Head Injuries
National Library of Medicine
Cranial Injuries
Skull Fractures
Skull Injuries

Chances are you've bumped your head before. Often, the injury is minor because your skull is hard and it protects your brain. But other head injuries can be more severe, such as a skull fracture, concussion, or traumatic brain injury.

Head injuries can be open or closed. A closed injury does not break through the skull. With an open, or penetrating, injury, an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. Closed injuries are not always less severe than open injuries.

Some common causes of head injuries are falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries.

It is important to know the warning signs of a moderate or severe head injury. Get help immediately if the injured person has

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • An inability to wake up
  • Dilated (enlarged) pupil in one or both eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation

Doctors use a neurologic exam and imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment depends on the type of injury and how severe it is.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Craniocerebral Trauma
Skull Fractures
Injuries and Wounds
Chances are you've bumped your head before. Often, the injury is minor because your skull is hard and it protects your brain. But other head injuries can be ...
Knee Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
ACL Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
Baker's Cyst
Chondromalacia Patellae
Meniscus
Patella

Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or diseased, you have knee problems. Knee problems can cause pain and difficulty walking.

Knee problems are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. Knee problems can interfere with many things, from participation in sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking. This can have a big impact on your life.

The most common disease affecting the knee is osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, causing pain and swelling.

Injuries to ligaments and tendons also cause knee problems. A common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You usually injure your ACL by a sudden twisting motion. ACL and other knee injuries are common sports injuries.

Treatment of knee problems depends on the cause. In some cases your doctor may recommend knee replacement.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Knee Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Your knee joint is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is hurt or ...
Wounds and Injuries
National Library of Medicine
Accidents
Injuries
Lacerations
Traumatic injuries

An injury is damage to your body. It is a general term that refers to harm caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of people injure themselves every year. These injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Injuries can happen at work or play, indoors or outdoors, driving a car, or walking across the street.

Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other body tissues. They include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctured skin. They often happen because of an accident, but surgery, sutures, and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually aren't serious, but it is important to clean them. Serious and infected wounds may require first aid followed by a visit to your doctor. You should also seek attention if the wound is deep, you cannot close it yourself, you cannot stop the bleeding or get the dirt out, or it does not heal.

Other common types of injuries include

  • Animal bites
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Dislocations
  • Electrical injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains

Wounds and Injuries
Skin, Hair and Nails
Injuries and Wounds
Safety Issues
An injury is damage to your body. It is a general term that refers to harm caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of ...
Chest Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Mediastinal Disorders
Rib Injuries
Thoracic Injuries

The chest is the part of the body between your neck and your abdomen. It includes the ribs and breastbone. Inside your chest are several organs, including the heart, lungs, and esophagus. The pleura, a large thin sheet of tissue, lines the inside of the chest cavity.

Chest injuries and disorders include

  • Heart diseases
  • Lung diseases and collapsed lung
  • Pleural disorders
  • Esophagus disorders
  • Broken ribs
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysms
  • Disorders of the mediastinum, the space between the lungs, breastbone, and spine

Thoracic Injuries
Thoracic Diseases
Rib Fractures
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
... lines the inside of the chest cavity. Chest injuries and disorders include Heart diseases Lung diseases and ...
Facial Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Craniofacial Injuries

Face injuries and disorders can cause pain and affect how you look. In severe cases, they can affect sight, speech, breathing and your ability to swallow. Broken bones, especially the bones of your nose, cheekbone and jaw, are common facial injuries.

Certain diseases also lead to facial disorders. For example, nerve diseases like trigeminal neuralgia or Bell's palsy sometimes cause facial pain, spasms and trouble with eye or facial movement. Birth defects can also affect the face. They can cause underdeveloped or unusually prominent facial features or a lack of facial expression. Cleft lip and palate are a common facial birth defect.


Craniofacial Abnormalities
Facial Injuries
Brain and Nerves
Ear, Nose and Throat
Injuries and Wounds
Face injuries and disorders can cause pain and affect how you look. In severe cases, they can affect sight, speech, breathing and your ability to swallow. ...
Finger Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Dupuytren Contracture
Thumb Injuries

You use your fingers and thumbs to do everything from grasping objects to playing musical instruments to typing. When there is something wrong with them, it can make life difficult. Common problems include

  • Injuries that result in fractures, ruptured ligaments and dislocations
  • Osteoarthritis - wear-and-tear arthritis. It can also cause deformity.
  • Tendinitis - irritation of the tendons
  • Dupuytren's contracture - a hereditary thickening of the tough tissue that lies just below the skin of your palm. It causes the fingers to stiffen and bend.
  • Trigger finger - an irritation of the sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons. It can cause the tendon to catch and release like a trigger.

Finger Injuries
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
You use your fingers and thumbs to do everything from grasping objects to playing musical instruments to typing. When there is something wrong with them, ...
Traumatic Brain Injury
National Library of Medicine
TBI
Acquired brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel in combat zones are also at risk.

Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dilated eye pupils

Health care professionals use a neurological exam and imaging tests to assess TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. Treatment and outcome depend on how severe the injury is. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Brain and Nerves
Injuries and Wounds
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer ...
Heel Injuries and Disorders
National Library of Medicine
Achilles Tendon Injuries
Plantar Fasciitis

Heel problems are common and can be painful. Often, they result from too much stress on your heel bone and the tissues that surround it. That stress can come from

  • Injuries
  • Bruises that you get walking, running or jumping
  • Wearing shoes that don't fit or aren't made well
  • Being overweight

These can lead to tendinitis, bursitis, and fasciitis, which are all types of inflammation of the tissues that surround your heel. Over time the stress can cause bone spurs and deformities. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, can also lead to heel problems. Treatments for heel problems might include rest, medicines, exercises, taping, and special shoes. Surgery is rarely needed.


Heel
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
... that surround it. That stress can come from Injuries Bruises that you get walking, running or jumping ...
Back Injuries
National Library of Medicine

Your back is made of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident. The lower back is the most common site of back injuries and back pain. Common back injuries include

  • Sprains and strains
  • Herniated disks
  • Fractured vertebrae

These injuries can cause pain and limit your movement. Treatments vary but might include medicines, icing, bed rest, physical therapy, or surgery. You might be able to prevent some back injuries by maintaining a healthy weight, lifting objects with your legs, and using lower-back support when you sit.


Back Injuries
Bones, Joints and Muscles
Injuries and Wounds
Your back is made of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work around ...