Orthopedics- Lower Body

Common Orthopedic Injuries:

  • Stress Fracture:
    • As the name suggests, too much stress on an affected area is the biggest reason for the break. Stress fractures could be really tricky as they don’t cause as much pain as “traditional” fractures. This is why it’s not uncommon for these injuries to remain untreated for longer. 
  • Ankle and Foot Sprains
    • Ankle and foot sprains are some of the most common orthopedic injuries. A sprain is not as serious as a fracture, which is why it usually takes some rest and ice compression for the soreness to go away completely. In case the ligaments and tendons get injured as well, more treatment would be required.  
  • ACL Tear
    • The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the key ligaments that help stabilize your knee joint. It often happens due to the sudden knee turn.
  • Plantar Fasciitis
    • This particular orthopedic injury involves the stress of the foot ligament that stretches between toes and heels. Pain and swelling are common issues.
  • Meniscus Tear
    • The meniscus is the cartilage on the knee that provides smooth and easy leg movement. However, when you move your leg awkwardly and suddenly, meniscus could end up torn.
  • Ankle fractures
    • Ankle fracture represent the most common types of lower extremity bony injury. Most often, ankle fractures occur due to a quick twisting injury where the foot is planted on the ground and the body rotates around it.


  • History/Subjective:
    • What happened to involved body part and when?
    • Assess pain, numbness, tingling, radiating symptoms
    • Functional movements
    • Goals for Therapy
  • Objective Measures:
  • Evaluate walking mechanics 
  • Use of assistive device?
  • Assess balance, equal weight distribution
  • Transfers
  • Range of Motion (Back, hips, knees, ankle)
  • Strength- Manual Muscle Test to see the strength of each muscle group
  • Sensation
Published Normal Joint Range of Motion Values, in Degrees 7 | Download Table


  • Acute Injury- no active movements
    • Perform isometric contractions – contract the muscle and hold for 6 seconds
  • Acute injury- start with Passive Range of Motion (therapist performs the ROM)
    • Assess the range of motion (ROM) of the hip, knee, ankle
  • Strengthening
    • Therapeutic exercises with gravity, resistance, weights
  • Use of assistive devices with weight bearing 


10 most Common Orthopedic Injuries. (2020, June 03). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.toplinemd.com/worldwide-pediatrics/10-most-common-orthopedic-injuries/

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