Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries sustained from car accidents are a common experience. This type of injury causes damage to the body’s soft tissues, involving every part of the body, excluding the bones. It consists of ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, skin, muscles, fat, and blood vessels. The severity of the injury depends on the impact of collisions. No two injuries are the same; therefore, we take a look at the types of common soft tissue injuries one may sustain in the event of a car accident.
Strains, Sprains, and Tears
The Car accidents caused by an abrupt strike to the vehicle may result in a strain. These injuries often involve the tendons connecting the bone to the muscle. Strains usually tend to affect your back in the case of a car accident. Medically speaking, sprains differ from strains because sprains involve the ligaments that connect your bones. Contingent upon the seriousness of the consumption, treatment might go from essential medical aid to broad medicine. Notwithstanding, essentially all consumption supported by auto collisions requires clinical consideration. Torment prescriptions, rehydration, organization of anti-infection agents, debridement, removal medical procedures, and skin join medical procedures are various sorts of intercessions expected to oversee consumption.
The decision of the board will rely upon your primary care physician and the nature and seriousness of the consumption maintained. Overstretching of a ligament may result from a sudden jolting of the body during an accident. Sprains often occur in your neck, commonly referred to as whiplash. A whiplash acquires its name from the resulting motion of the car occupants caused by the force of a car suddenly stopping due to sudden braking or a crash impact, producing a sound like a cracking whip. Important to note is that whiplash is not a diagnosis but a term used to refer to a sprain or a strain to the neck.
Management: For sprains and strains, a conclusive examination requires your doctor to carry out an X-ray to rule out bone involvement as in fractures. Usually, minimally invasive treatment is required. The required treatment for these injuries includes:
ü The RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce swelling and inflammation
ü Immobilization of the affected area to facilitate rest and repair
ü Physical therapy that follows an initial resting period to aid in recovery and restoring strength to the affected area to prevent re-injury in the future.
ü Surgery is less common for these kinds of injuries given the prevalence of the less invasive treatments, but it may be handy where there is a severe tear.
Closed or blunt head injuries include contusions and concussions due to trauma. In this case, a person in an accident may sustain swelling, bleeding, or bruising within the skull. Contusions commonly occur after car wrecks, and they can be very life-threatening. Contusions may involve any part of the body receiving the trauma, including the brain and the chest. A direct blow to the affected area may result in a break in the small blood vessels. The skin surface but without involving the skin itself, causing a bruise to develop.
Many car accidents are associated with inherent force; thus, chest bruising and contusions often accompany more serious injuries. Minor chest contusions may occur due to seatbelt pressure, steering wheel impact, dashboard impact, or airbag deployment during an accident, among other reasons. Cerebral contusions and concussions may pose a danger to life as they rarely show any visible sign of injury on the outside.
Management: Bruises or contusions are sometimes noticeable as discolored skin or a small bump, but the RICE protocol is usually effective in management. Of note is to never draw blood with a sharp object from a contusion as it will impede the healing process.
Lacerations, comprising cuts and gashes, are perhaps the commonest type of soft tissue injuries. Lacerations from road accidents can range from minor to major cuts. These injuries occur when skin, muscle, or tissue is severed. Injuries might include any piece of the body getting the injury, including the cerebrum and the chest. A hard impact to the impacted region might bring about a break in the little veins and the skin surface yet without including the actual skin, making an injury create. Numerous fender benders are related to inborn power; accordingly, chest swelling and wounds frequently go with additional serious wounds.
Minor chest injuries might happen because of safety belt pressure, controlling wheel influence, dashboard influence, or airbag sending during a mishap, among different reasons. Cerebral wounds and blackouts might represent a threat to life as they seldom give any noticeable indication of injury outwardly. During a car accident, lacerations may occur from broken glass. when a car occupant comes into contact with the road surface, or from contact with any sharp object.
Cut lacerations, grinding lacerations, split lacerations, tearing lacerations, and over-stretching lacerations are different kinds of lacerations. It is possible to sustain a laceration from an injury caused by a sharp object cutting through tissue or a crushing injury caused by a rollover accident or head-on collision.
Management: Where lacerations are concerned, the immediate action in managing the injury is to prevent blood loss. This prevention can be done using stitches, staples, tape, or liquid glue. Management involves the administration of anesthesia where there is a need, cleaning of the wound, and closure. Wounds caused by lacerations undergo closure in two forms: surgical and non-surgical. Your doctor will assess the severity of the wound and the best way of managing the same. Simple lacerations do not require the administration of antibiotics, but in some cases, you may require it.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In a car accident, occupants are likely to be subjected to a sudden violent movement. That may result in an impact between their head and the steering wheel, window, or dashboard. This sudden motion can cause your brain to slam against your skull, subjecting it to injury.
Management: A CT scan and MRI are important diagnostic tools for managing traumatic brain injury.
Burns can occur when the vehicle catches fire after a car crash, and the skin comes into contact with surfaces, chemicals, steam, or hot fluids. Although fires are rare, they may happen, and the degree of burns may vary from first to fourth-degree burns. Burns from car accidents may result in scarring or even life-long disabilities.
Management: Depending on the severity of the burn, treatment may range from basic first aid to extensive medication. However, nearly all burns sustained from car accidents require medical attention. Pain medications, rehydration, administration of antibiotics, debridement, amputation surgeries, and skin graft surgeries. The choice of management will depend on your doctor and the nature and severity of the burn sustained.
A fracture, in medical terms, refers to a break in the continuity of a bone. During a car accident, any bone can break, with the most commonly affected bones being the spinal vertebra of the back and neck, the pelvic bone, flower leg bones, bones in the arm, skull, facial bones, and the clavicle, and the sternum.
Management: Treatment of fractures depends on the location and extent of the fracture. However, the principles of fracture management include reduction, immobilization, and rehabilitation.