When you go to an emergency room after an accident, they will x-ray any part of your body you complain about to rule out fractures. If you don’t have any fractures they will smile and release you, telling you that you have only sustained “soft-tissue” injuries. This doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods because soft-tissue injuries may still require physical therapy and even surgery if they do not heal on their own. It’s important to seek medical attention for soft-tissue injuries if they are not healing on their own, causing you to lose time from work and limiting your ability to enjoy recreational activities.
When you’re suffering from painful soft-tissue injuries due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional act of another person, it’s possible to collect a substantial amount of compensation. An experienced Orange County soft tissue injury attorney can help you collect money for medical expenses, current and future lost earnings, pain, suffering, and mental distress. Call the Crockett Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with our personal injury lawyers and learn more.
What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
A soft-tissue injury is damage to tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves, or any other party of the body that’s not made of bone. These injuries are not necessarily less serious than fractures. For example, a closed simple hairline fracture of the rib or pinky finger will most likely heal on its own, whereas a torn ACL ligament injury may require multiple surgeries and cause months of disability.
Soft-tissue injuries are difficult to diagnose, but techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are making it easier to pinpoint and assess the severity of soft-tissue injuries. Soft-tissue injuries to the neck, back, and extremities can sometimes cause permanent lifelong deficits that cannot be adequately mitigated with physical therapy and the latest surgical techniques.
Examples of Soft Tissue Injuries
Common injuries to soft tissue include:
The violent jerking back and forth that occurs during a car accident can cause serious permanent injuries to the neck. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, headaches, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, pain that radiates down the arms, difficulty with head movements, numbness, and tingling.
Bulging and Herniated Discs
Herniated discs are painful soft-tissue injuries that can cause lifelong disability due to chronic pain in the neck and back. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can reveal the presence of the material inside the disks that is either bullying or spilling out of the disk. This causes pressure on the nerves that can be painful and debilitating.
Tears in the ligaments can vary greatly from a mild sprain to a serious condition depending on the force of the trauma and the area of the body. A torn ACL is characterized by a “pop” in the knee when the injury occurs. Some tears heal on their own, but many require surgery and rehabilitation. A torn rotator cuff in the shoulder is another soft-tissue injury that often requires surgical repair.
When trauma pushes the jaw out of alignment, it can be painful to talk or eat.
Sprains and Strains
When muscles and tendons are overstretched or pulled out of positions due to trauma, they can become swollen and painful.
This is inflammation of the tendons, the flexible bands of tissue that connect muscle to bones. It is typically caused by repetitive use such as playing tennis or using a computer, but it can also be caused by trauma.
This is inflammation of the bursa that cushions space between the bone’s muscles and tendons. Like tendonitis, it can be caused by overuse or trauma.
Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries
Some soft tissue injuries such as mild strains and sprains require only the most “Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation” (RICE) therapy, but more serious soft-tissue injuries may require physical therapy, chiropractic manipulations, acupuncture, pain management, or even surgery.
Most soft-tissue injuries are treated with a conservative approach initially, with more invasive treatments only prescribed later. When physical therapy and chiropractic treatments are not effective, epidural injections can sometimes offer relief. When all else fails there are many minimally invasive surgical techniques that can repair damage to muscles, ligaments, and nerves. It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an injury and to work with specialists that know how to properly treat soft-tissue injuries.
How Long Does It Take for Soft Tissue Injuries to Heal?
Some soft tissue injuries heal on their own very quickly, but others can cause permanent pain, disability, and limited function. Physical therapy is usually attempted for at least six months before more invasive treatments are considered such as epidural injections. When epidural injections are not effective, surgery is considered.
Surgery to repair torn ligaments in the knees, shoulders, and hands is usually successful and not high risk. Back, neck, and shoulder surgeries do come with a risk of paralysis and are usually not considered unless there are severe deficits or a great deal of pain. Soft-tissue injuries that require surgery usually take at least a year to heal as physical therapy is required after the surgery to regain full mobility.
How Do Insurance Companies Treat Soft Tissue Injuries?
Insurance companies generally take a dim view of soft tissue injury cases. That said, it’s possible to get very high verdicts and settlements when a soft-tissue injury requires surgical repair, causes a long term disability, or is permanent in nature. It’s important to work with an Orange County soft tissue injury attorney that knows how to maximize the value of your case.
Contact an Orange County Soft Tissue Injury Lawyer Today
You can count on our Orange County soft tissue injuries attorneys to know how to collect the largest amount of money possible to pay for medical treatment, reimburse you for your lost earnings, and compensate you for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish. We’ll launch a thorough investigation of your case, ensuring that we have the evidence to present a strong case on your behalf. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and our legal strategy so you will have a complete understanding of all issues. Please call our Orange County personal injury firm at (800) 900-9393 today to make an appointment.