Soft tissue injuries aren’t always the most visible and require an experienced orthopedic physician to diagnose and treat them effectively. You should see a provider as soon as possible after a motor vehicle accident to ensure you haven’t sustained any injuries, even if you haven’t felt symptoms. Your provider may refer you to an experienced orthopedic physician.
Contusions (Blunt Trauma)
Contusions may be the easiest to diagnose because of their distinctive coloration. They are often called bruises but may be much deeper or more severe, often reaching deep into the muscle or other tissue. Your provider will typically request x-rays or other diagnostic imaging to ensure there aren’t additional injuries below the bruising, such as a broken bone or torn ligament. It’s possible to develop a contusion that isn’t visible, such as a cerebral contusion to the brain. These can range from mild to life-threatening.
A concussion is a type of soft tissue injury to the brain that is graded one, two or three based on its severity. During a motor vehicle accident, it can be caused by hitting your head on something, like the car window or the headrest, but it can also be caused by the violent movement of your head during the impact.
Sprains & Strains
Many people confuse the terms sprain and strain as being the same. However, a sprain is an injury to a ligament, which connects your bones at a joint and may result in significant bruising at the site of the injury, sometimes mistaken for a contusion. A strain is an injury to a tendon, which connects your muscles to your bones and will likely cause painful muscle spasms. Both injuries are common during motor vehicle accidents and should receive prompt treatment.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck that is caused by the neck moving in one direction and then quickly changing direction during the impact. It can cause severe strain and sprain symptoms that go far beyond the neck to affect the shoulders and arms and cause headaches and stomach pain. Whiplash-associated disorders are complex, and you may not feel symptoms until several days after the event.
Soft tissue injuries after a motor vehicle accident can be complex and require an experienced team of providers to treat, but Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians can help set you back on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
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