What Are the Most Common Orthopedic Problems?


Orthopedic disorders are conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, consisting of the bones, muscles, joints, nerves, ligaments, and tendons. Someone with an orthopedic problem will typically experience pain, mobility impairment, and other symptoms, depending on the condition. Orthopedic conditions affect people from all walks of life, and a chronic issue can significantly affect a person’s quality of life.

This post discusses the most common orthopedic problems affecting people in Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Fractures, or broken bones, are among the most common orthopedic problems. Trauma in the form of an injury or a direct blow to the body is the most common cause of bone fractures, for example, a car accident or fall. Bone fractures fall under two categories:

  • Open fracture:When someone has an open (compound) fracture, the broken bone is visible through the skin.
  • Closed fracture:In the case of a closed (simple) fracture, the bone is broken, but the skin remains intact.

The symptoms of a bone fracture include sudden pain, swelling, bruising, and deformity. The skin may also be red and warm to the touch.


Arthritis is another common orthopedic disorder and presents as joint inflammation and swelling. Many different types of arthritis exist, including:

  • Osteoarthritis:This chronic joint disease is due to aging, an injury, or overuse and typically affects the joints of the hip, spine, and knees.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis:This form of arthritis is an inflammatory disease affecting the joint linings. In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the lungs, heart, or other organs.
  • Gout:When uric acid crystals build up in the small joints, patients typically experience pain and inflammation in smaller joints. Secondary complications include the formation of kidney stones.

Various factors can cause arthritis. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma are autoimmune diseases. Risk factors for gout include obesity and a high alcohol intake. To accurately diagnose and assess the severity of arthritis, a healthcare provider may order a CRP blood test.

Lower Back Pain

Various conditions can cause lower back pain, including a herniated or ruptured disc, sciatica, or spine infection. Some other severe conditions that may result in lower back pain include kidney infection or cancer of the spinal cord.

In most cases, lower back pain is due to an injury. For example, if you lift a heavy object or make a sudden movement that puts your lower back under stress, you may suffer from acute lower back pain. Poor posture or trauma, such as sports injuries, can also cause lower back pain. Additionally, a knot in lower back muscles can lead to discomfort and contribute to this type of pain.

Ligament Tears

Ligament bands are strong, flexible fibrous tissue connecting bones with joints. These bands allow movement between the bones while providing support and stability to prevent excessive movement and joint dislocation.

However, trauma due to a sudden twist or impact can cause a ligament to tear, resulting in symptoms such as pain, swelling, limited motion, and instability. Examples of ligament tears include a sprained ankle and an anterior cruciate ligament tear in the knee.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic orthopedic condition affecting soft tissues and muscles throughout the body. Most patients suffering from fibromyalgia experience pain in the back, neck, shoulders, chest, hips, arms, and legs. Other symptoms include chronic fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and sleeping difficulties.

The causes of fibromyalgia may include immune, biochemical, or endocrine problems, and treatments involve symptom management. Fibromyalgia treatments include physical therapy, heat treatments, and anti-inflammatory or pain medication.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are cracks forming in bones due to overuse, wear, and tear. The pelvis and weight-bearing bones in the feet and lower legs have the highest susceptibility to stress fractures, and the condition is most common in athletes.

In most cases, stress fractures develop over time, with symptoms that include pain, tenderness, and swelling. Treatments for this orthopedic condition include rest, immobilization, and pain management.

Torn Meniscus

The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage in the knee joint. Each knee has two menisci, one on the outer side (lateral meniscus) and one on the inner side (medial meniscus). These cartilages provide shock absorbance and knee stability during movement.

An abnormal movement or age-related wear can cause a meniscus to tear, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling. Patients often experience a popping sensation the moment they suffer a meniscus tear. Common treatments for a meniscus tear include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).

Most patients suffering from orthopedic problems experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, and immobility. However, in the case of a chronic condition, such as gout, patients may be asymptomatic with occasional flare-ups. If you suspect that you have an orthopedic condition, schedule a consultation with your doctor.