Getting into a car accident is always stressful. You have to deal with so many issues, such as the initial shock, worry, anger, damage to your car, possible litigation, and most importantly, determining whether you or anyone involved in the accident requires medical attention.
Sometimes, the answer to that question is obvious. Other times, everything seems fine, until you start experiencing pain or discomfort, days later. The best way to find out whether you have an orthopedic injury is to learn how to recognize the symptoms.
What are Orthopedic Injuries?
An orthopedic injury is an injury to your bones or joints. They are often the result of severe trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. In addition, orthopedic doctors treat injuries to cartilage and tendons in these situations.
Most Common Orthopedic Injuries after a Car Accident
There are many different types of orthopedic injuries that could arise from a car accident. The most common ones include:
- Herniated discs
- Bone fractures
- Meniscus tears
- Tendon tears
Symptoms of orthopedic injuries are hard to ignore because they are so disruptive to your daily activities. Even doing the simplest of tasks can become extremely difficult or impossible if you have a fractured bone. Signs of such an injury include:
- Diminished range of motion or an inability to move the injured body part
Treatment and Recovery Time
Treatment will depend on the type of injury. There are many types of injuries and bone fractures. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may only need to immobilize the injured body part, and follow this with physical therapy; or you may need manual manipulation to return dislocated bones to their original position.
In some instances, surgery may be necessary, especially if there are tendon tears. Other types of surgeries are performed to reconstruct a damaged body part or to do a joint replacement.
While some people prefer to “tough it out” or “push through” pain, it’s crucial to be aware that, left untreated, orthopedic injuries could result in a long list of complications, including:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
- Osteonecrosis (death of bone tissue)
Why Should You See an Orthopedic Doctor Soon After a Car Accident?
Right after a car accident, your body secretes a hormone called adrenaline, that increases your blood circulation and expands your breathing capacity, preparing you for a fight or flight response. This chemical reaction can make it possible to not feel any kind of pain, even if you are severely injured. This is why sometimes, car accident victims don’t realize the extent of their injuries until much later.
Seeing an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible ensures that you avoid preventable complications from your injuries and that the car insurance company actually pays for a significant portion of your medical costs.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At the Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort after a car accident, let us help you.