Musculoskeletal injuries and diseases affect the body’s bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Often, these injuries occur as the result of trauma – a slip and fall accident, for instance. Or, wear and tear over time can result in injury, such as hip joint wear due to osteoarthritis. However, in some cases, musculoskeletal deformities cause limited mobility, pain, stiffness, uneven gaits, and other symptoms.
If you are suffering from a musculoskeletal deformity, Contact us here at Orthopedic Associates to schedule a consultation at one of our 5 areas in Houston orthopaedic surgery offices to discuss your symptoms and learn more about musculoskeletal deformities treatment options.
What Are Musculoskeletal Deformities?
The musculoskeletal deformity is the term applied when a part of the body is formed abnormally during gestation, or becomes so over time, either through natural growth within the body or due to trauma. For instance, scoliosis is a degenerative disease that causes an increasing curve to the spine over time, eventually causing considerable pain and discomfort to the patient. This is a good example of a musculoskeletal deformity. However, a broken bone that is improperly set and heals crooked is also an example of a musculoskeletal deformity.
What Are the Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Deformities?
The symptoms of musculoskeletal deformities are as vast and varied as the types of deformities themselves. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of range of motion
- Stiff joints
- Uneven gait
- Uneven limb length (legs/arms)
- Abnormal physical appearance
- Loss of use
- Increasing pain over time
What Areas of the Body Can Be Affected?
Musculoskeletal conditions can affect all parts of the body, including:
- Upper back
- Lower back
What Causes Musculoskeletal Deformity?
The risk for a musculoskeletal deformity or condition can be affected by:
- Family history/genetics
- Activity level
How Are Musculoskeletal Deformities Identified?
Every patient is different, so the first step in identifying the underlying musculoskeletal condition is to conduct a full assessment. You will go through a physical examination, followed by a series of X-rays. Your orthopedic surgeon may also feel it necessary to conduct additional imaging tests, such as CT scans.
Blood tests may also be necessary to test for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Your medical history and family history will also be discussed before a diagnosis is arrived at or a treatment plan can be determined.
During your assessment, make sure to discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing, such as:
- Limited mobility
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle atrophy
- Redness and swelling
How Are Musculoskeletal Deformities Treated?
The good news is that most musculoskeletal deformities can be treated, even corrected in some cases. For instance, an improperly set bone that heals crooked can be cut and reset. Scoliosis can be treated with a back brace, with bone grafting, or with spinal fusion. Hip joint deterioration can be treated with resurfacing or joint replacement.
Potential Complications from Treating Musculoskeletal Deformities
The specific complications will vary from patient to patient based on the condition/deformity type and the treatment. For instance, a scoliosis patient will experience dramatically different complications between using a back brace and undergoing spinal fusion.
With devices like splints and braces, some of the more common complications include:
- Initial soreness
- Chafing from the device on the skin
- Initial discomfort as you get used to the device
Surgical procedures carry a greater risk of complications, which can include:
- Slow healing
- Hardware failure
- Nerve damage
Help with Musculoskeletal Deformities
There is no need to suffer pain and discomfort from a musculoskeletal deformity. Contact Orthopaedic Associates in Houston to schedule your consultation and to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. Hope and healing are available.