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The Inside Scoop on RICE for Injuries

The Inside Scoop on RICE for Injuries | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I love acronyms. They’re such great memory tricks. They saved me on many a test in medical school. And many of them I remember to this day. Needless to say, I use them when I can. RICE is one I use the most.

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Knee Injury: Your Top-4 Questions, Answered

Knee Injury: Your Top-4 Questions, Answered | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In this post, I’m going to address some of the more frequent questions that are being asked in the comment section of my post “8 Tips for How to Treat a Knee Injury and How to Know If It’s Bad.” The questions seem to center around the following:

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6 Clues Your Ankle is Broken, Not Sprained

The tibia is the larger of your two leg bones. The fibula is the smaller. The tibia bears the most weight, so if it’s broken near your ankle but you mistakenly think you just have a sprain, you can do even more damage just by walking on it.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

Sometimes it’s not that easy to tell a sprain from a broken ankle.

Just this past year, a seventyish-year-old woman came limping into the clinic where I was working to have her ankle checked. Seemed she had twisted it a couple of weeks before and her husband was going to keep nagging her until she came in.

The X-rays revealed a break. A pretty bad one at that. She couldn’t believe it. I don’t know if she was more upset that she was going to need a cast and crutches or she’d have to acknowledge that her husband was right.

Many people come to the clinic convinced they have a break or just as sure it’s just a sprain. Often they end up being wrong. It’s not so easy for doctors to tell either. Fortunately we have the benefit of X-rays. But what if getting an X-ray is impossible? What can tip you off that it’s a sprain or a broken ankle? And why does it matter?

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The Broken Rib Don’t (Formerly a Do)

The broken rib don’t (formerly a do), by @James Hubbard

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I heard a pro football player being interviewed on television say that of all the multiple injuries he had suffered through, a broken rib was the most painful. I can see why. It hurts anytime you move your arms, bend—it even hurts to breathe. And it can hurt for weeks. So what can you do to help it heal and relieve the pain?

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8 Tips for How to Treat a Knee Injury and How to Know If It’s Bad

"8 Tips for How to Treat a Knee Injury and How to Know If It's Bad," by @James Hubbard

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

It’s football season and prime time for knee injuries. But truth be told, I see them all year long—in athletes and the rest of us.

They happen at home, at work, and during any recreation at any age. Sometimes they happen when you’re just standing still and twist the wrong way.

When you hurt your knee, it may be evident you’ve done major damage. Often, though, it’s not so clear. Knee-sprain symptoms can be the same as symptoms from something more serious.

Even we doctors sometimes have a tough time telling a sprain from a tear. One reason is it’s hard to try to move a swollen, painful knee.

So what can you do when no one medical is around? There are a few things, but first, it helps to know the anatomy.

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Video: How to Make a Finger Splint

Video: How to Make a Finger Splint

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Okay, class. In recent posts, I’ve written about finger injuries and how to treat them. In case you weren’t quite able to grasp :-) how to make the different finger splints, I’ve made you a video. My homemade splints may not be the prettiest, but they should be as effective as any until you can get definitive medical treatment.

Whether the splint’s metal, wood, or the uninjured finger next to the injured one (a buddy splint), the objective is the same: keep the injured area stable until it heals. In the video I show how I’d make a finger splint for the following:

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(Do) Pull My Finger: How to Treat a Dislocated Digit

X-ray of a dislocated finger

X-ray of a dislocated finger.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

You’re picking up debris and swing your hand around. A finger hits a board, hard. Ouch. You look at your finger and it’s crooked. Not a little. A lot. You can’t move the joint.

Even if you can’t get to a medical facility, there’s no need to panic. Instead, recognize the type of injury and treat accordingly.

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Easy Treatment for Shoulder Injuries

shoulder-injuries

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

When I was growing up and heard the sports announcer say some player suffered a shoulder separation, I’d picture the poor athlete with his shoulder actually separated in two. Horrible. How could he ever play again?

Now I know it’s usually not quite as bad as it sounds. Okay, it’s never happened to me, but … shoulder (or AC) separations, clavicle fractures, and rotator cuff tears and strains are some of the most common shoulder injuries I see. Fortunately, until you can get to a doctor, the initial treatment for all is similar:

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Video: How to Make a Neck Brace

make-a-neck-brace

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Your camping friend went for firewood and hasn’t come back. You find her at the bottom of a steep ditch. She’s lying there groaning and has a big scrape on her forehead. You’ve read my post on when to suspect a broken neck or back and run back to get your rigid cervical collar. Wait. You left it at home? You better read on, and watch my video to boot.

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When to Suspect a Broken Neck or Back

neck-back-bone

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

A devastating spine injury could happen to anyone. A simple fall or hit on the head can break the spinal bones. But a break doesn’t always cause paralysis—if people react to it correctly.

Spinal bones surround and protect the fragile spinal cord. You can feel their prominences, called spinal processes, along your neck and back. Like any bone they can be broken. The difference is, if this fracture moves, it can push against and permanently damage the spinal cord. That’s why it’s essential to learn when to suspect a broken neck or back and what to do about it.

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