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Understanding orthopedic trauma

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | Personal Injury Law

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious or catastrophic injury like an amputation of all or part of a limb, multiple broken or shattered bones or even a shoulder dislocation accompanied by muscle tears, you may have already heard the term “orthopedic trauma.” What exactly does this mean?

An orthopedic injury involves the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, muscles, ligaments and joints. Orthopedic trauma occurs when the injury is caused by an “external force, such as a severe fall, a serious accident or even a violent attack,” as one health care system describes it.

The psychological toll of orthopedic trauma

Trauma is often not only physical but psychological as well. A limb amputation, of course, can be extremely devastating psychologically. Even a serious break or dislocation can be a traumatic thing to see – especially when it’s your own body that has been altered so significantly. Acute orthopedic injuries also often involve multiple surgeries and long recovery times. Some can have permanent impacts on people’s lives and their ability to do the things they always took for granted.

The psychological effects of orthopedic trauma can also arise from the circumstances of the injury. For example, maybe someone was in a devastating car crash and thought they were going to die as it occurred, or perhaps they were trapped in their vehicle. A person with a history of anxiety disorders, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is typically more prone to psychological issues after a serious orthopedic injury than someone with no such history.

Comprehensive treatment is required

Treatment for orthopedic trauma involves not just medical interventions, physical therapy and potentially occupational therapy to learn to live with new limitations. It often requires mental health treatment. A person who’s suffering emotionally typically has a more difficult time healing physically.

If someone suffers orthopedic trauma in a vehicle crash or any incident that is the fault of one or more other parties, it’s crucial to determine the entirety of the costs for physical and mental health treatment, lost income, assistive devices like wheelchairs and walkers, modifications to their home, car and other environments – just to name common financial losses – before committing to a legal strategy.

This is one reason why it’s crucial not to accept an early settlement just to get needed cash to pay bills if you’ve recently sustained significant harm. With experienced legal guidance, you can better work toward the compensation you need and deserve now and in the future.