Management of Patients With Musculoskeletal Trauma
Injury to one part of the musculoskeletal system usually results in injury or dysfunction of adjacent structures and of structures enclosed or supported by them. If the bone is broken, the mus-cles cannot function, and blood vessels and nerves in the vicinity of the fracture may be injured. If the nerves do not send impulses to the muscles, as in paralysis, the bones cannot move. If the joint surfaces do not articulate normally, neither the bones nor the muscles can function properly.
Treatment of injury of the musculoskeletal system involves providing support to the injured part until healing is complete. Support may be provided by externally applied bandages, ad-hesive strapping, splints, or casts. Alternatively, support may be applied directly to the bone in the form of pins or plates. At times, traction must be applied to correct deformity or shortening.
After the immediate and the painful effects of the injury have passed, treatment efforts are focused on preventing fibrosis and stiffness in the injured muscles and joint structures. Proper ex-ercise guards against this disability. In some cases, the support applied permits early activity. Various forms of physical and occupational therapy may hasten the healing process and recovery of function.