An auto accident is a very harrowing experience for the sufferers and their near and dear ones. It not only leads to physical injuries, but also causes severe mental trauma that may last for years after the accident. See an orthopedic surgeon after an accident to help treat any injuries.
Auto Accidents are a common cause of death in the United States (1). A few common causes of auto-accidents are distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, crossing beyond stop signs, late night driving, wrong lane driving or abrupt lane changes, driving too close or not keeping safe distance, driving in snow, rain or fog, driving when fatigued etc. Distracted driving indicates inattention while driving. This can include fatigue, physical and mental ill health of the driver (2).
Auto accidents can lead to injuries ranging from a simple abrasion to minor fractures to life threatening injuries. The major injuries if unattended within a set few hours, can lead to lifelong impairments.
One must bear in mind that often injuries are not felt or detected immediately. There are certain hormones called endorphins which are released after the shock of an accident. These endorphins along with the shock of the jolt felt due to the accident act as painkillers and because of this the victim fails to feel the injury or pain right away. The symptoms like pain, giddiness, distress etc. are often felt a few days later after the initial shock phase is over. These can be detected earlier if one visits an auto accident orthopedist without delay. He will do a thorough check-up to detect any injury caused by the accident.
The commonest injuries are to the head or to the brain. These include mild scars or bruises, concussion or trauma to the brain. It can also lead to disability by damaging the nerves supplying various body parts causing temporary or permanent damage e.g. vision loss or hearing loss etc. Musculoskeletal injuries include knee meniscal tears, muscle or tendon injuries or sprains, fracture or dislocation of the arms or legs, etc. Collisions can also injure the chest, neck, back or spine causing neck strains, whiplash (injury to the neck caused due to quick and sudden forward and backward jerking of the head) (3), chest bruises, spinal injury, disc prolapsed or injury, rib fractures, spinal fractures, paralysis etc.
An auto accident orthopedist is a physician who diagnoses and treats diseases related to the musculoskeletal system and performs surgeries to reset broken bones or damaged nerves. Harvard-trained orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hayden based in Dallas, Texas is one such orthopedist.
When one meets with an accident, one should meet an auto accident orthopedist on priority to prevent worsening of hidden injuries caused by the accident. Since certain injuries are not felt on day one of the accident, a skilled auto accident orthopedist can detect these injuries at an early stage using his experience. The symptoms and physical examination of the victim help the auto accident orthopedist to spot anything that is amiss. They usually use advanced techniques and imaging technologies like direct radiography X-ray, MRI scans, and CT scans to confirm their findings and diagnosis.
Dr. Hayden is trained to detect any emergencies which may need immediate attention and can provide appropriate management; thus averting any severe outcomes.
An auto accident orthopedist can decide the treatment depending on the extent of the injury and the condition of the body. Treatment can include pain management to simple or complex surgeries or plain rehabilitation using physiotherapy. Finally, one should remember the earlier the care and treatment, better the consequences.
Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD