Acute Injury

David Leahy / Getty Images

An acute injury is an injury that occurred recently as a result of a traumatic event.  Acute means that there has been a sudden change in the condition or the symptoms experienced.  Sometimes when a doctor sees an event that occurs over a short duration, but not suddenly, they will describe the injury as subacute.  Acute injuries in orthopedics include:

  • Contusions (bruises)

Other acute injuries, not generally seen in orthopedics, include:

  • Lacerations
  • Electrical shocks
  • Burns

Acute Injury Treatment

Most acute orthopedic injuries respond to to R.I.C.E. treatment. This treatment represents:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate

Acute injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional before beginning any treatment.

Chronic Injuries

In contrast to the sudden change experienced in an acute injury, a chronic injury is the result of overuse or a long-standing condition.  Chronic injuries are often experienced over the gradual course of months or even years.  Chronic injuries seen in orthopedics include:

Continue Reading