– Fractures of the spine will require thoughtful management of a physician. While many of these never need surgery, careful follow-up evaluations can identify early bone slippage and prevent permanent loss of function.
– Muscle strains and ligament sprains often resolve with supportive care, but many have lasting difficulties including loss of motion and/or strength.
– Disc herniation by itself can also happen. When it does, it will usually cause back pain, but can also result in specific loss of sensation and strength (big toe vs little toe). Some injuries can lead to loss of bladder and bowel control. Emergency surgery may be necessary if this develops.
We offer skilled evaluation, documentation, and treatment of these injuries with an eye toward maximizing recovery.
– Fractures: Car accidents can cause fractures of the collar bone, upper arm, and occasionally the scapula, or shoulder blade. Bracing and surgery are often a necessary initial response to promote recovery.
– Tears of ligaments and tendons usually result in an immediate and painful loss of motion. These often respond to physical therapy, but unstable shoulders with joint separation may need surgery.
– Shoulder muscle strains can limit shoulder motion after a car accident. We have found structural injuries such as tears, fluid accumulation, and tendonosis with an MRI, which is one of the best non-invasive modalities for diagnosis.
We take great care to document the loss of motion of the shoulder. Undocumented shoulder injuries remain one of the major limitations of chiropractic care and can cause permanent impairment.
– Fractures of the leg, whether the femur or tibia, often involve ligamentous injury as well. The patella, or kneecap, can be crushed when the knee hits the dashboard. These types of injuries make it impossible to walk up stairs or over uneven surfaces.
– Strains, sprains, and other stretch injuries often improve with physical therapy. This joint heals best when moving.
– Tears of the ligaments often require surgery to return stability back to the knee. Physical therapy with partial tears can often help avoid the scalpel.
The return of knee strength and function begins with a clear understanding of the seriousness of the injury. We offer this support and early orthopedic referral when surgery is an option.
– Fractures of the ankle and foot often involve ligamentous injury. The patient must use crutches and often wear a cast. These injuries make it difficult to participate in many normal activities, like basketball or ballroom dancing.
– Strains, sprains, and other stretch injuries often improve with physical therapy. Also, this joint heals best when moving.
– Tears of the ligaments may require surgery to return stability back to the ankle. Physical therapy with partial tears often helps avoid the scalpel.
– An ankle with pain, tenderness, swelling, and bruising often needs an MRI.
Early understanding can help move the patient into physical therapy when surgery is not appropriate. However, when surgery is indicated, an early orthopedic referral offers the greatest opportunity for regaining function.
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