Orthopedic Surgeons and Personal Injury Cases
In the aftermath of an accident, a victim may require the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon. These medical professionals specialize in orthopedic surgery, which involves diagnosing and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. This system encompasses bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Orthopedic doctors play a vital role in personal injury cases, such as workers’ compensation claims, car accidents, and medical malpractice cases.
Types of Orthopedic Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
Orthopedic injuries are common in personal injury cases, particularly car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and workplace accidents. Some of the most common types of orthopedic injuries include:
Fractures and Broken Bones
Fractures and broken bones are common injuries in accidents and can range from simple hairline fractures to complex fractures requiring surgery. They can occur in different ways depending on the nature and severity of the personal injury. A fracture’s severity can vary depending on the nature of the accident, the type of fracture, and the age and health of the victim.
When a joint is forced out of its normal position, it can cause a dislocation. This dislocation can result in pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion. Some of the most common parts of the body where dislocations occur include shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. Dislocations can be painful and require immediate medical attention to prevent further injury and promote proper healing. Treatment may involve repositioning the bone back into its normal position (called reduction), immobilization with a cast or brace, and rehabilitation exercises to restore range of motion and strength.
Sprains and Strains
Accidents and personal injuries can cause various types of sprains and strains. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones at a joint, while a strain is a stretch or tear of a muscle or tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscles to bones. Sprains and strains can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the injury. Treatment may involve rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with pain management and rehabilitation exercises to promote healing and restore function. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair torn ligaments or tendons.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Personal injury cases can result in various types of spinal cord injuries, ranging from mild to severe, and can have long-lasting effects on a person’s mobility, sensation, and function. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the brain down through the spine, and any injury to this delicate structure can have serious consequences. Some of the most common spinal cord injuries include spinal fractures, spinal cord contusions, and spinal cord compression. Treatment for spinal cord injuries depends on the type and severity of the injury. Mild injuries may only require rest and pain management, while more severe injuries may require surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care. It’s important to seek prompt medical attention if you suspect a spinal cord injury, as early treatment can improve the chances of recovery.
A herniated disc occurs when the discs between the vertebrae in the spine are damaged or ruptured, and it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. They are also known as slipped discs. They are common in rear-end collisions and side-impact collisions, which cause sudden jolts to the spine, in slip and fall accidents where falling on the back causes the spine to compress, and in repetitive stress jobs that involve repetitive lifting, twisting, or bending the spine. Treatment may involve rest, pain management, physical therapy, or in more severe cases, surgery to remove or repair the herniated disc. If you suspect you have a herniated disc as a result of an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention to prevent further damage and promote proper healing.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Rotator cuff injuries can occur in personal injury cases when the shoulder is subjected to a sudden force, trauma, or repetitive stress. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade and help to lift and rotate the arm. Car accidents and slip and fall accidents are two common cases where rotator curr injuries can occur. Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury may include pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the affected shoulder. Treatment may involve rest, physical therapy, and pain management, or in more severe cases, surgery to repair torn muscles or tendons.
How Orthopedic Surgeons Can Help in Personal Injury Cases
Orthopedic surgeons play a critical role in personal injury cases by assessing and treating various musculoskeletal system injuries, including fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, spinal cord injuries, herniated discs, and rotator cuff injuries. Their expertise can be invaluable in determining the appropriate treatment plan, which may involve physical therapy, pain management, and surgical procedures like joint replacement or spinal fusion.
In addition to providing medical treatment, orthopedic surgeons can offer expert testimony in court. They can explain the nature and extent of the accident victim’s injuries, their impact on daily life, ability to work, and overall quality of life. This testimony can be crucial in establishing a personal injury claim and securing compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, and other damages.
If you have been injured in a car or other accident, contact Dross Berman for a free consultation. If needed, we can refer you to experienced orthopedic doctors and surgeons who can provide a detailed diagnosis and treatment plan and expert testimony in court.