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SOFT TISSUE INJURIES

Tears, Sprains, Contusions

Ligament: A band of strong connective tissue that


connects bones and holds organs in place.
Tendon: The fibrous band of tissue that connects
muscle to bone.

Can be acute (occurring suddenly, e.g. sprain) or


chronic (prolonged)
What are soft-tissue injuries?

Many activities can lead to soft-tissue damage of


muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The result can be
pain, swelling, bruising, and damage. Soft-tissue
injuries are classified as the following:

* contusions (bruises)
* sprains
* strains

Athletes and non-athletes share many similar soft-


tissue injuries.

What is a contusion?
A contusion (bruise) is an injury to the soft tissue
often produced by a blunt force such as a kick, fall, or
blow. The result will be pain, swelling, and
discoloration. Treatment for contusions includes Rest,
Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.R). More
serious contusions may need to be examined by a
physician.
What is a sprain?
Illustration demonstrating the three ligaments
involved in ankle sprains/strains

A sprain is an injury to a ligament and is often caused


by a wrench or twist. Sprains often affect the ankles,
knees, or wrists. The treatment for a sprain includes
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.R). If
the ligament is torn, surgical repair may be necessary.
What is a strain?
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, and is
often caused by overuse, force, or stretching. The
treatment for a strain is Rest, Ice, Compression, and
Elevation (R.I.C.E.R). If a tear in the muscle occurs,
surgical repair may be necessary.
Tears, Sprains and Contusions

* Tear: tissue is excessively stretched or severed,


two types:
o Sprain: from the stretching/tearing of
ligaments, movement causes sharp pain. Classified
according to severity, in three degrees
o Strain: when a muscle/tendon is stretched or
torn. Ligaments are strong, rigid and heal slowly
* Contusion: a bruise, caused by a sudden blow to
the body
o Interrupt blood flow to surrounding tissue
o A haematoma (blood tumour) forms as the
blood clots

Inflammatory Response

* the healing response when tissue is injured


* May last for 3-4 days
* Phase one: acute inflammatory stage, pain,
redness, swelling and ^ blood flow
* Phase two: repair and regenerative stage, 3 days
> 6 weeks, new fibres form and scar tissue is produced
* Phase three: remodelling stage, 6 weeks > several
months, replacement and scar issue

Skin abrasions, lacerations, blisters, calluses

* Abrasions: the outer layer of skin is removed,


shallow bleeding and often embedded with foreign
objects
* Lacerations: an irregular tear in the flesh (if > 1
cm, see doctor)
* Blisters: collection of blood/fluid below/within the
epidermal (surface) layer of the skin, result from
friction

o Rest + dress
* Calluses: increased thickness of the skin caused
by a build up of dead skin

o Caused by constant pressure from external


surfaces
o Prevention: correct clothing + equipment
o Effect: loss of elasticity and blood supply