Extremity trauma (injury to the leg or arm)

Legs | Orthopaedics | Extremity trauma (injury to the leg or arm) (Disease)


Resuscitation of a trauma patient often involves multiple management procedures. Trauma is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 10% of all mortality, and is a serious public health problem with significant social and economic costs.

Trauma to the extremity can cause a contusion, fracture, crush injury, or sprain. Underlying structures such as tendon, nerves, ligaments or blood vessels can also be damaged. A severe crush injury can result in a serious limb threatening injury called compartment syndrome.

Symptoms may include pain, swelling, decreased motion, numbness, weakness, decreased pulse.

Causes and Risk factors

Trauma refers to a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident. It can also be described as a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow. Major trauma (defined by an Injury Severity Score of greater than 15) can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment depends on the injury but may include: immobilization, elevation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, naproxen), or pain medications acetaminophen, or surgery. ...

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