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Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults and Children

21 July 2023

3 minute read

Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults and Children

Musculoskeletal injuries are common injuries that may occur everyday. Certain injuries are more common in certain age groups. This might be due to differences in the anatomy, physiology and the activities of people in this age groups.

Different risks and results

For children and teenagers, bones are immature. The weakest point of their growing skeleton is the growth plate. This is a necessary structure in every child and young person who continue to grow, making their bones more susceptible to injuries. Therefore, fractures around the wrist and elbow are more commonly seen in this age group following a fall.

High risk accidents that commonly happens to children will cause falls and fractures. Usually this tends to happen around the elbow and wrist because children are usually at play when this happens, such as falling at the playground’s monkey bar with one hand automatically reaching out to the ground to catch themselves. Sometimes this action can cause fractures of the forearm that occurs near the wrist joint.

Behaviour also determines the risk of injuries to a child. Between a child who is super active and a child who is timid and shy, chances are the former may experience falls more than the latter. As habit would have it, children and teenager are naturally more active. Their engagement in active play poses risk of injuries. Children with smaller sized bones are also more susceptible to injuries compared to a larger-sized child.

Teens, adults and the elderly

As for teenagers, they tend to get fractures from overused injuries with the most common part being the knee and foot. This can affect their growth plates along with bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. When the growth plate is affected, it will need immediate treatment as this affects how the bone will grow in the future. If nothing is done after the injury, the bone may become crooked. It may even become shorter than the opposite limb.

When it comes to adults, the common injuries will usually involve vehicle accidents and sport injuries. As an adult, in urban areas especially, driving is something you do every day. The risks are always there especially if you are not a safe driver. Fractures and ligamentous injuries by far are the most common in accidents.

As for the elderly, they posses a reduced sense of balance and coordination that contributes to an increase in susceptibility to falls. More over, osteoporosis will result in the reduction of their bone density. This will make the bone more prone to fractures even when faced with trivial accidents such as a fall in the bathroom.

For example, a young man in his 20s who falls on his buttocks may get up, brush himself off and carry on walking. But a man who is in his 70s need only to slip on a slippery surface and suffer a serious fracture. These are osteoporotic fractures which happen among the older generation because their bones are porous and weak.

Prevention tips

Vigilance in supervising children during their activities will help in reducing these injuries. Being more cautious especially at the playground. For example, it is common for children to fall while playing monkey bar at the park.

To prevent injuries from happening to children, parents need to be more vigilant in supervising their children (even some teenagers need supervising!). Be more cautious at the park as they run around the playground, skating rink or football field. There have been many cases where children experience falls at the monkey bar thus causing fractures.

A home with young children needs to be child-proofed. Likewise, our elders. Provide a safe environment for them so as to eliminate risks of falling. Ensure floors and rugs are not slippery. The bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in the house. Make sure the tiles are dry before walking in or use a non-slip mat to avoid slipping. If you have to walk in when tiles are wet, ensure you hold on to something for support like the sink or the towel rack. Also, avoid thick carpets to prevent an uneven surface which can be an accident risk too.

Other than road accidents, hobbies can become a risk too such as futsal, football, tennis and the likes. Of course, one must exercise but do not forget to warm up and play with the right technique and in the right attire, in order to minimise chances of injury. Don’t underestimate the importance of proper socks and shoes to cushion stomping action. Most importantly — warm up before you start any form of sports.
This is a must!

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21 July 2023

3 minute read

Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults and Children

Dr. Paisal Hussin


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