Leg

The upper leg begins at the hip and continues to the knee. The largest bone in the body and only bone in the upper leg is the femur. The femur’s head creates the ball and socket hip joint and the base of the femur connects to the knee. The major muscles in the upper leg are the hamstrings at the back of the thigh and the quadriceps in front of the thigh. The lower leg has two bones, the tibia, which meets the femur at the knee, and the fibula. The tibia supports most of the body weight and is an important part of both the knee and ankle joints.

Common leg injuries include Fractures / Broken Bones, Shin Splints, Achilles Tendinitis.

A fracture and a broken bone are the same thing.
Fractures

Fractures are broken bones. Many people don’t understand a fracture and a broken bone are the same things. It can range from a thin “hairline” crack or stress fracture to a complete major break, resulting in shattered bones. Bone can fracture crosswise, lengthwise, in several places or into many pieces. Because it typically takes a major force to break a long bone in your leg, other injuries often occur with these types of fractures. Broken bones require immediate medical attention for pain relief and to avoid permanent damage or disability. Since bones are a living tissue capable of self-healing, it’s important that you begin treatment right after the injury occurs.

Symptoms:

  • Include a snap or grinding sound when the injury occurs
  • Intense pain when the injury happens and sensitivity to touch
  • Dizziness or passing out
  • Feeling chilly from the shock
  • Swelling, redness, and bruising in the injured area
  • Difficulty supporting weight with the injured area
  • A visible deformity in the injured area
  • Even a broken bone poking through the skin. Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the fracture.

Diagnostic Treatment:

  • Involves a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as palpation, nerve and blood supply assessment, sensitivity and muscle strength analysis, X-rays, an MRI, and a CT scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Shin splints can also be brought on by stress reactions to bone fractures.
Shin splints

Shin splints can result from the excessive force that causes the muscles to swell and increases the pressure on the bone, leading to pain and inflammation. Shin splints can also be brought on by stress reactions to bone fractures. The constant pounding can cause minute cracks in the bones of the leg.

Symptoms:

  • Sharp pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness, particularly as a result of repetitive strain.

Diagnostic Treatment:

  • Includes a physical exam. In some cases, an X-ray or other imaging studies can help identify other possible causes for your pain, such as a stress fracture.
Achilles tendinitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration of the Achilles tendon
Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis, a condition associated with overuse and degeneration of the Achilles tendon, which causes pain and swelling in the back of the leg near the heel. The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is used when walking, running and jumping. Although the Achilles tendon can withstand great stresses, it is vulnerable to injury. A rupture of the tendon is a tearing and separation of the tendon fibers so that the tendon can no longer perform its normal function. The Achilles tendon is prone to tendonitis.

Symptoms:

  • A sudden “pop” in the back of calf or heel may indicate ruptured (torn) Achilles tendon
  • Severe pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon or back of the heel that worsens with activity
  • Severe pain the day after exercising
  • Chronic swelling that worsens with activity.

Diagnostic Treatment:

  • Encompasses a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as X-rays and an MRI in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.