Why Soft Tissue Injuries Are Hard to Recover From
When thinking about the physical consequences related to a vehicle accident, fractures are probably the first injuries that come to mind. While broken bones are serious, there are other injuries that can cause just as much pain and require a longer recovery process: soft tissue damage. These injuries namely damage the muscles, ligaments, or tendons.
These soft tissues are important for balance, movement, and flexibility, so when they are damaged in an accident or left untreated, they can have a lasting effect on your quality of life. We explain why soft tissue injuries are so hard to recover from, and what you can do if you are injured in an accident.
Understanding Soft Tissue Injuries
In the event of a car accident, a person’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons can stretch and tear causing long-lasting damage.
If you sustain a soft tissue injury, you will likely experience immediate pain, followed by swelling, stiffness, and bruising that develops after 24 to 48 hours. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury sustained in car accidents and affects the tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the neck.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Florida, you have 14 days to see a medical doctor or you lose your PIP benefits.
Sprains and strains are also considered soft tissue injuries.
- A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or there is a minor tear.
- A strain occurs when a tendon or muscle is stretched or torn.
While some of these injuries result in minor pain that goes away once the injury heals, others can result in severe pain and multiple doctor’s visits. Soft tissues are categorized by health care providers based on the grade of the injury. These include:
- Grade 1: Mild injuries that occur due to overstretching. The fibers may suffer microscopic damage, but will only have mild tenderness or swelling.
- Grade 2: In a moderate sprain or strain, the fibers that encircle soft tissue are partially torn. Moderate pain, swelling, and tenderness can be expected, and it will be difficult to put weight on the injured area without experiencing pain.
- Grade 3: A severe sprain or strain occurs when the joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles completely tear. Significant pain, swelling, loss of balance and flexibility, and the inability to move the injured body part can be expected. Often, surgery is required.
Regardless of the injuries sustained in a car accident or slip-and-fall, it is imperative to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your case. Call Mickey Keenan Law today for veteran counsel at 813-871-1300 .
Average Recovery Periods
Depending on the severity of the injury, it may take a significant amount of time for a soft tissue injury to heal on its own.
During the days following the accident, the pain, bleeding, and swelling will likely be at their worst; this is referred to as the acute phase. During this phase, the body aims to protect the injury from further damage, and if treated properly, these initial symptoms should subside within a few days.
The next phase is known as the sub-acute phase, where the body transitions from protecting the injury to repairing it. This phase can last as long as six weeks as the body begins to build scar tissue to strengthen the injury.
After this, the remodeling phase begins. Even if the injury is healed, stretching to the scar tissue can cause additional stress and possible pain. The body continues to stimulate new tissue growth until normal mobility occurs. This can take from six weeks to three months.
If pain persists three months after the injury, the condition may be chronic, and you may need to see a medical specialist.
Why Soft Tissue Injuries Can Be Catastrophic
A soft tissue injury can be considered legally catastrophic if there is the potential for long-term or permanent effects. More severe injuries such as Grade II or Grade III could fit this distinction. Some permanent consequences of a soft tissue injury include chronic numbness, chronic pain, loss of function, limited mobility, and limited muscle strength, which can all be life-changing.
According to medical specialists, initial signs of a catastrophic injury can include:
- A “crack” or “pop” at the time of injury
- Numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation at the injury site
- You cannot move the affected joint, or put any weight on the limb
- You are experiencing severe pain around the joint
- The injury site is deformed
A permanent soft tissue injury can result in significant scarring, disfigurement, and even loss of bodily function. You may be unable to return to work and may require medical help to complete day-to-day tasks. Ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, and time away from work are common, and it is important to seek compensation for the losses that you have suffered and the treatment you need.
Seek Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries
No matter the severity of injuries that you have sustained, if you believe that your accident was the result of another party’s negligence, our expert personal injury attorneys at Mickey Keenan P.A. in Tampa, FL can examine your case, and work to get you the compensation that you deserve.
If you have soft tissue injuries from a car accident, slip-and-fall, or other traumatic accident, call us at 813-871-1300 for a free case consultation. Our injury attorneys strive to make you whole again.
Call the attorneys at Mickey Keenan P.A. today, we will help you get the compensation that you deserve.