A car accident can cause a lot of chaos- not just in your life as you deal with mechanics and insurance agencies, but also in your body. Whether you’ve experienced a fender-bender or a more serious collision, there is a chance you will sustain injuries that require expert care. When you visit a Snellville orthopedics clinic, you can be evaluated for a number of common injuries that are sustained in car crashes and benefit from their expertise to begin a treatment plan. While everybody will react differently to a car accident, there are a number of car accident injuries that can be very common
While many of us associate concussions and other traumatic brain injuries with hitting our heads, that is not the only way these injuries are sustained in car accidents. Depending on proximity, the head may hit a window or steering wheel, but if the impact causes a jostling, the brain may move within the skull and suffer an injury that way. Any blunt force can lead to traumatic brain injuries, which may cause problems with cognition or persistent headaches.
A closed head injury is often more serious and usually occurs only in very severe accidents. In these cases, the contents of the skull sustain damage. While a loss of consciousness may occur with a concussion, it could indicate a more severe closed head injury.
Arm & Leg Injuries
In an accident, the extremities tend to be in positions that leave them vulnerable to forceful impact due to sudden changes in direction or stops that cause involuntary motion. Sitting in the front seat often leads to knees that slam into the dashboard, creating cuts and bruises if not breaking bones. People will often put their arms out to brace for impact, which leaves arms subject to hitting dashboards, windows, seats, or other passengers. The compact nature of a car leaves arms and legs open to a number of injuries, including breaks, sprains, and strains.
Most chest injuries will be cuts and contusions, though more serious problems can occur. When a seatbelt braces for impact, it tightens to stop movement. This is a lifesaving mechanism, but it can also place pressure on the chest that may lead to broken ribs or injury to internal organs. The driver is also susceptible to more chest injuries because of their proximity to the steering wheel, which leaves them very little room to move within upon impact.
In addition to bruising and strain caused by the seatbelt, if any airbag deploys that can also cause potential chest injuries. Like seatbelts, airbags provide protection, but can also cause more minor injuries to the chest.
Even if no windshield or windows break during a crash, there are likely to be loose items in the car that will act as projectiles within the vehicle. Eyeglasses, phones, purses, cups, and any other items may fly through the car, causing cuts and bruises to the people in the car. These are often more minor injuries that can be treated quickly, but a more serious cut may lead to blood loss or require stitches. Airbags and seatbelts may also cut or scrape occupants.
Depending on the severity, a burn can also be considered a surface injury that can be treated topically or with mild medical intervention. A second- or third-degree burn caused by a car fire is likely to require more intervention, but it is not uncommon to suffer burns due to surface tension or small fires.
Soft Tissue Injuries
One of the most common issues people face after an accident is whiplash, or tears and strains to the ligaments in the neck. This typically occurs because of the sudden and unnatural movement of the head when a car is impacted, which places force on these ligaments. Whiplash is very common, but also can typically be treated by a Snellville orthopedics expert who sees car accident victims frequently.
In addition to whiplash, other areas of your body can suffer from soft tissue injuries. Muscles sprains in the lower back are common, and any body part is vulnerable to sprains or strains. The impact can also lead to spinal injuries that may be easy to treat, like a herniated disc, but may also be lifelong.
No matter what kind of injuries you are facing after a car accident, it is crucial to see an orthopedic doctor who can properly evaluate you. At AICA Snellville, our orthopedic doctors partner with chiropractors, physical therapists, and more experts to give you comprehensive treatment. Our goal is to safely and efficiently return you to health after a crash. Contact us today to schedule your first visit.