How Serious Are Soft Tissue Injuries?
Damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments are known as soft tissue injuries. As a common type of personal injury, it is one our office deals with frequently. While you may be tempted to brush off your injury as being relatively minor or a condition that will eventually heal on its own, the fact is that it could end up resulting in potentially permanent disabilities.
How Soft Tissue Injuries Occur
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises that there are two basic types of soft tissue injuries. Overuse injuries are those that occur as the result of repetitive motions. These often impact athletes, or can occur on the job as the result of daily tasks such as stuffing envelopes, operating machinery, or continually bending or stretching. Acute injuries are those that are caused by some type of sudden trauma, and commonly result from car, bike, or pedestrian accidents, or due to slips and falls. Types of soft tissue injuries include:
- Sprains: These involve stretching or tearing of the ligaments, which connect one bone to the other. Strains often impact ankles, bones, and wrists;
- Strains: These are stretches and tears of the muscle or tendons, which are the cords that attach bones to muscles. Strains often occur in the foot, legs, or back;
- Contusions: These are bruises caused by direct blows. Blood pools around damaged muscles or tissues under the skin, which causes discoloration. Depending on the force of the blow, contusions can result in lasting tissue damage.
Regardless of the type of soft tissue injury you suffer or how it occurred, you should seek medical care immediately and follow all doctor instructions to avoid lasting complications.
Treating Your Soft Tissue Injury
Soft tissues injuries usually involve pain and swelling. The Mayo Clinic advises that in addition to a physical examination, your doctor may order magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to better diagnose your condition. Treatment for soft tissue injuries generally involves a combination of the following:
- Medications, which can help relieve pain and swelling;
- Rest, to allow the injury time to heal;
- Physical therapy, to regain use and build strength and muscle tone around the injury site.
In cases where a tendon, ligament, or muscle is severely damaged or torn, surgery may be required and a cast may be used to immobilize the site while it heals. With even a relatively minor soft tissue injury, it is important to get adequate rest and to follow any work or activity restrictions you doctor advises, as re-injuring the site will only extend healing time, and could cause lasting impairments.
Our Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Recover
Soft tissue injuries can result in ongoing medical expenses and physical therapy costs, while preventing you from working or even being able to care for yourself. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we can advise you on whether you may be entitled to compensation, either through an insurance claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our Florida personal injury attorney, either by phone or online, and we will be happy to schedule you a free consultation in at our Ft. Pierce office.