Acute injuries are those that have occurred recently, usually defined as having occurred in the previous 48-72 hours. Acute injuries are also usually the result of a specific impact or traumatic event that occurs in one specific area of the body. Examples of acute injuries include tendon strains, ligament sprains, muscle strains, muscle contusions, and bone breaks or fractures. Most acute injuries heal better when treated within the first few days of being injured.
Yet deciding if an injury requires medical attention may not be easy. Some signs that should prompt a visit to OrthoNOW include: moderate or severe amount of swelling, rapid swelling, inability to move the joint in a full range of motion, inability to walk, extreme pain or pain even when you are resting the injured area, and if the limb appears deformed.
Even without any of these signs, if an injury does not significantly improve after resting it for a couple of days, or if you feel at all uncertain, consider getting it checked out. Early assessment and treatment of acute injuries is essential to a full recovery and safe return to everyday activities.