Category Archives: injury

What is Rhabdomyolysis?

We recently had a client diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis because of his exposure to hot temperatures as part of his job doing lawn maintenance. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare syndrome in which skeletal striated muscle tissue breaks down rapidly. The breakdown products of damaged muscle cells, such as myoglobin, are released into the bloodstream and may lead to kidney failure.

Along with heat stroke, hyperthermia, electrical shock injury, extreme muscle strain, as well as a variety of other causes such as alcohol or illegal drug use and bacterial infections can cause rhabdomyolysis.

Common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, fever, rapid heart rate, confusion, dehydration, lack of consciousness, dark red or brown urine, and/or reduced or no urine output.

The treatment for rhabdomyolysis typically consists of IV fluids. Rarely, the treatment will include dialysis fasciotomy (a surgical procedure to relieve tension or pressure and loss of circulation if compartment syndrome threatens muscle death or nerve damage).

If diagnosed early, a full recovery from rhabdomyolysis can usually be expected. If you see symptoms or suspect the possibility of rhabdomyolysis, get the individual to a hospital as soon as possible.

Foot Drop

Foot drop describes the inability of a person to lift his or her foot at the ankle due to weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot. Foot drop can be caused by several things including: an injury to the spinal cord, an injury to the nerve that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot during hip or knee replacement surgery or during intramuscular injections, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or muscular dystrophy.

Symptoms of foot drop include dragging your foot on the floor when you walk, walking like you are climbing stairs to prevent your foot from dragging, and numbness on the top of your foot and toes. Treatment options depend on the cause and severity of a person’s drop foot and include orthotics such as braces or foot splints, physical therapy, or surgery including decompression, nerve sutures, nerve grafting, nerve transfer, or tendon transfer.

Depending on the cause of a person’s foot drop, it may not be a lifelong disability. If the underlying cause is trauma or nerve damage it is possible for a person’s foot drop to improve or go away completely; however, if the underlying cause is a progressive neurological disorder, foot drop will likely continue as a lifelong disability.