The bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues of the body’s musculoskeletal system are susceptible to injury from the stresses and strains placed on them during routine and leisure activities. The healing of minor injuries is usually rapid and complete, but major ones require expert treatment to avoid permanent damage.
Today, many people are aware of the health benefits of exercise and use part of their leisure time to pursue athletic activities. However, such pursuits may lead to musculoskeletal injuries if care is not taken. The first article in this section gives an overview of the main types of sports injury, the treatment of which has now become a specialized branch of medicine.
Injury may result in bone fractures of various types and these are covered next. The treatment of fractures has changed a great deal in the past 25 years as a result of various technical innovations, particularly for more complicated fractures in which the damaged bone is fragmented.
Injuries occurring in other parts of the musculoskeletal system, including joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, are also discussed. As with fractures, these injuries may cause long-term disability if not treated properly.
Damage to the musculoskeletal system may also occur as part of more widespread damage to the body following serious trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident (see Serious injuries).
For more information on the structure of the musculoskeletal system, see The Body’s Skeleton.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.
The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.