Soft tissue injuries

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Soft tissue injuries account for about 95 percent of all sports injuries and affect the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your limbs. Bruises, sprains, strains, and dislocations are all considered soft tissue injuries. A bruise, or contusion (cun-TOO-shun), is usually the least serious of soft tissue injuries and occurs when the soft tissue is subject to blunt force, such as a kick, fall, or blow. Most bruises cause pain, swelling, and discoloration around the injury. Sprains involve the overextension of a joint, usually resulting in a partial tear (tehr) or rupture of a ligament. Most sprains affect your ankles, knees, or wrists, but other areas of your body can be affected. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon and is often caused by overuse, force, or stretching. In the case of a minor sprain or strain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation can be sufficient treatment, but if the ligament is torn, surgical repair may be necessary.Perhaps the most dangerous soft tissue injury, dislocations involve the displacement of bone from a joint. If underestimated, a dislocation injury can have serious consequences, such as damage to nerves and blood vessels. If you sustain a dislocation, seek medical attention and don't attempt to correct the dislocation yourself.

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