Seeking a diagnosis from an orthopedic doctor after a car accident can be critical to your case and also your health and wellbeing. Never risk losing mobility or resign to living your life in pain. Consult an orthopedic doctor if you have any of the following:
- Sore fingers, which may be fractured or broken
- Hip or leg pain, which may be a broken hip
- Pain in ribs or clavicle, as the airbag or seat belt could have fractured or broken them
- Shoulder pain, which could be a shoulder impingement caused by the airbag or seatbelt
- Knee pain, which could easily be a torn anterior or medial cruciate ligament
- Back pain or weakness in the extremities, suspect of a herniated disc
Knowing which doctor to see can be confusing. All orthopedists are not necessarily orthopedic surgeons, even though the two are often used to describe the same kind of doctor. Never risk losing mobility or resign to living your life in pain. Consult an orthopedic doctor to diagnose, treat, and perform surgery, while orthopedic doctors provide pain management and rehab.
Fractures, Broken Bones, and Impingement
Accident victims can break fingers and hands by putting them in front of the face for protection during the accident. These injuries can be a real disability when returning to work so make sure your injury is documented.
While a broken hip may be obvious because of the pain, cracked or broken ribs may lead to difficulty breathing and symptoms may not be so black-and-white. A trained ortho doctor will diagnose you in short order.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the symptoms of shoulder impingement are feeling pain when arms are raised above your head, trouble reaching up and behind your back and weakness in the shoulder. You may have a subacromial impingement or your rotator cuff could be torn. The rotator cuff holds the shoulder in place with a matrix of tendons and muscles. The condition is extremely painful and restricts movement.
Cruciate ligament tears are common car accident injuries. They are basically knee injuries. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, connects the top part of the shin bone to the bottom of the thigh bone and affects the knee’s rotational stability. Anybody who experiences knee pain knows that it is no joke. An ACL injury might need surgery to fully restore the function of your knee and in rare cases, knee replacement surgery is performed.
Injuries to the medial cruciate ligament, or MCL, and posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL, often result from twisting the body during the collision. The end result again is knee instability. It may mean that the knee is no longer able to support the person’s weight without buckling. Consult an orthopedic doctor is often advised.
The vertebrae in your back contain small cushions called discs which protect the small bones when they are squeezed together. The resulting whiplash from a collision can knock the vertebrae out of alignment. This is sometimes called a slipped disc or herniated disc and can happen anywhere on the spinal cord. The treatment might include disc replacement for severe cases and physical therapy for less severe cases. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious degenerative spine disorders later in life.
Your orthopedic physician will use tools like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to diagnose your condition. This process can be intimidating but it is in your best interest to prevent future health problems and to acquire the doctor’s notes to put in your case file. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to use these medical notes as solid evidence when presenting your case in court.