When a car accident occurs, some of the most common injuries that result from the accident are broken bones, torn ligaments and tendons, and damage to joints. While these injuries may seem pretty straightforward, they are actually some of the most complicated injuries to diagnose and treat. Unfortunately, these injuries are not always possible to detect immediately after an accident. The pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility can sometimes take months to appear.
Soft tissue injuries can be just as serious as a bone that is obviously broken, even if you cannot see it. Some of these injuries are even difficult to pick up on an x-ray or CT scan. That is why it is imperative that you consult with an experienced physician as quickly as possible if you believe you are suffering from one of these injuries.
While some soft tissue injuries are minor, others can have long-term, even life-long, consequences. These injuries can be classified as catastrophic and will likely entitle you to compensation from the at-fault party. An experienced Thunder Bay torn ligament and tendon lawyer can help you understand your legal options.
Our torn ligament and tendon lawyers can meet with you in Thunder Bay for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
The Basics of Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue, in anatomical terms, is referring to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. There are some 650 muscles in our bodies and each of them is attached to at least one bone by a tendon. Ligaments are another type of fibrous tissue, much like tendons, only they connect bones to one another and to pieces of cartilage. Together with our bones, ligaments, and tendons give our bodies shape and help us move.
Unfortunately, when a car accident occurs, or another type of severe collision or impact, tendons, muscles, and ligaments can suffer damage. These soft tissues can be stretched and in severe cases, torn. These incidents result in the following types of soft tissue injuries:
- Sprain – A sprain is a minor tear or stretch in a ligament.
- Strain – A strain is a minor tear or stretch to a tendon or muscle.
- Tears – A tear involves the partial or complete rupture of a ligament, muscle, or tendon.
In addition to the types of injuries, each of these soft tissue injuries is graded on a scale that ranges from a Grade I to a Grade III injury with a Grade III being the most severe soft tissue injury.
- Grade I – A minor tear, strain, or sprain that results in very little or no joint instability is considered a Grade I injury. These injuries will typically heal by themselves within a week or two.
- Grade II – This is a partial tear injury that causes some instability in the joint. Many of these injuries will also heal on their own if given proper rest, although a few of them may require surgery to be repaired.
- Grade III – Complete tears of the muscle, ligament, or tendon are considered Grade III injuries and will almost always require surgery to completely heal. These injuries often feel as if the bone has been broken due to the amount of pain they cause and because the injured person is unable to use the limb or joint that is affected.
In addition to the above types of injuries, there is a type of fracture that occurs that involves soft tissues including ligaments, bones, tendons, and muscles. It is called an avulsion fracture. Avulsion fractures occur when a ligament or tendon pulls away from the bone, but some of the bone stays attached to the fibers of the soft tissue. These injuries are common in younger people who tend to have weaker bones that are more likely to split away from the muscle in this manner.
Treatment for avulsion fractures is similar to a muscle sprain. Many, but not all, of these fractures, will heal on their own with rest, ice, and a few simple stretching exercises. However, if the ligament has moved too far from the bone to fuse back on its own, surgery may be required to help the injury heal.
Thunder Bay Torn Ligament and Tendon Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
Understanding Catastrophic Injuries
We mentioned above that soft tissue injuries can sometimes be considered catastrophic. The first thing that you need to know is what exactly a catastrophic injury is. A catastrophic injury is one that has the potential to cause permanent or long-term effects on the injured person. In most situations, a Grade I soft tissue injury would not be considered catastrophic. However, Grade II injuries that are more severe, and many Grade III soft tissue injuries have the potential to cause long-term effects, and because of this, some of these injuries may be considered catastrophic. Potential long-term or permanent effects of Grade II or Grade III soft tissue injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chronic pain
- Chronic numbness
- Limited muscle strength
- Limited mobility
- Loss of function
Because soft tissue injuries will always require medical treatment, if you think that you may have suffered a Grade II or Grade III soft tissue injury, it is vital that you seek treatment from a medical professional as quickly as possible. Getting treatment quickly may help reduce any long-term effects your injury may cause. Signs that you may have suffered a soft tissue injury include, but are not limited to, the following:
- You cannot move the joint that is affected or cannot put any weight on the affected limb
- You have pins and needles sensations or numbness at the location of the injury
- You have severe pain around a joint structure or bone
- The part of your body where you believe you are injured does not seem to be shaped correctly
- You heard a cracking or popping sound when you were injured
Contact an Experienced Thunder Bay Torn Ligament and Tendon Lawyer Today
If you have suffered severe soft tissue injuries due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages including lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. The experienced lawyers at Preszler Injury Lawyers will discuss the circumstances of your case with you and advise you of your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.