Athlete Profile #3 ‘Davo Dickson’ was thrown from a bull during his training one afternoon. He was tossed into the steel cattle yards, screaming in agony he clutched his right forearm which clearly showed signs of bone deformity. Davo is in immense pain and has obvious signs of bone deformity; these are all clear symptoms that he has either broken his right forearm, or at the least fractured it. The injury would be identified as a direct hard tissue injury due to the impact his forearm has just gone through and the signs of bone deformity, there would also be signs of soft tissue injury, such as bruising.
The first thing to do so the injury can be managed would be to get Davo out of any danger that may surround him, such as the bull being put away, being moved to a non congested area, and removing any tight clothing Davo may be wearing around the area of his arm, this is all to ensure that no more further injury can happen, and that the injury can be managed appropriately. Fractures and broken bones are managed through immobilisation of the injured area following DRABCD.
Because hard-tissues injuries can be accompanied by significant damage to muscle, blood vessels, surrounding organs, and nerves, immediate medical treatment is required. Immediate management includes: – Immobilise and support the injured site with a splint or sling – Check for impaired circulation and other possible complications – Arrange for transport to hospital and professional medical assessment. – Implement the RICER procedure – if it does not cause pain. The RICER procedure involves the following: R= Rest.
To ensure further damage it is necessary for Davo to rest his forearm and limit movement involving use of his right forearm. Also avoid putting any weight on his injured forearm I= Ice. Apply an ice pack to Davo’s forearm for 20 minutes every 2 hours, continue to do so for the first 48-72 hours of the injury. Ice cools the tissue and will reduce pain and swelling coming from Davo’s forearm. Make sure the cold pack is wrapped in a towel onto the injured area – do not apply frozen cold pack directly to the skin C= Compression.
Applying an Elastoplast Sport Elastic Adhesive Bandage or a non-elastic compression bandage, covering the injured area as well as the areas above and below will reduce swelling. Ensure the bandage is not too tight. E=Elevation. Elevate Davo’s forearm to stop bleeding and swelling. Placing the injured area on a pillow is ideal for support. R= Referral. Refer Davo to a qualified professional, i. e. doctor, for dependable diagnosis and continuing management Management of hard-tissue injuries aims to minimise movement of the injured area.
If an injury is not properly taken care of it can lead to even further damage being done to the injury site, as well as extended pain and discomfort. Infection is also likely to occur, regardless if the injury has an open wound or not. Management of injuries is essential, to minimise these affects taking place. Rehabilitation after injury can take some time depending on the type of severity of the injury. A qualified doctor or physiotherapist should supervise the process. The aims of any rehabilitation are to: – Restore optimal function of the injured area Return the athlete to competition quickly and safely – Prevent re-injury. Any injury involving the muscular or connective tissues surrounding a joint will restrict movement of that joint. Joint mobilisation is the freeing of hindered joints to allow improved range of motion. Mobilisation should begin soon after the injury because joint inactivity can increase the formation of scar tissue. There are 4 main parts of rehabilitation, these are: Progressive mobilisation, graduated exercise, treatment modalities, and training.
Progressive Mobilisation refers to the joints mobilisation, which is the freeing of hindered joints to allow improved range of motion. Joint mobilisation can be achieved through active exercises (performed by the athlete) or through passive methods (manipulation of the injured part by another person). Joint Mobilisation should begin soon after injusry because joint inactivity can increase the formation of scar tissue. The range of movement is gradually increased over time until the full range of movement is restored. To ensure the safe mobilisation of injured body parts, the following precautions should be noted: Thorough checks should be made to ensure that there is no fracture at the site – an X-ray may be required. – Mobilisation should not be commenced during the acute inflammatory phase – Circulation to the injured area should be increased before commencing immobilisation. – The athlete should be relaxed before and during mobilisation. – Movements should be slow and progressive, rather than sharp and rapid. – Movements should remain within a pain-free range. Graduated exercise incorporates the use of stretching, conditioning and maintenance of total body fitness.
Loss of flexibility occurs as a result of injury to muscle and connective tissue, and the formation of scar tissue. Attention also needs to be paid to stretching exercises. If completed correctly, these will enhance rehabilitation by, reducing muscle tension, and increasing circulation, muscle tendon length, and the range of motion. Flexibility is restored gradually to the injured area through the use of slow static stretches and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching early in the repair phase.