Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common in a car accident, causing damage to a variety of tissues including tendons. Sometimes this can lead to contusions, sprains, or strains. But when an Arvada accident is serious and there is a lot of force placed on a tendon, it could cause a complete rupture.
Rotator Cuff Rupture
Located in the shoulder, the rotator cuff allows the arm to rotate. When the rotator cuff is injured by force from a car accident, the joint loses strength and it increases the risk of arthritis. Pain is the most common symptom; it may increase when lying down or extending the arm above the head.
Treatment may consist of:
- steroid injections;
- physical therapy; or
- surgery (in some cases).
Of course, invasive procedures do prolong the recovery period and may result in more time away from work.
Patellar Tendon Rupture
The patellar tendon is located in the kneecap. If completely ruptured from direct impact in a car accident, it detaches from the kneecap and the patient cannot straighten the knee. Swelling and pain may also accompany the injury.
Nonsurgical treatment is usually tried first, which could include:
- immobilization with a knee brace or other device;
- anti-inflammatory medicine;
- rest; and
- physical therapy.
When it’s a serious injury or complete rupture, surgery may be necessary. Recovery can take months.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Located just above the heel of the foot is the Achilles tendon. It connects the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone (calcaneus bone). Oftentimes an Achilles rupture brings a snapping or popping sensation, accompanied by pain and inability to walk.
As with most injured tendons, initial treatment is usually conservative. Patients may need to wear a walking boot or cast during the recovery process. Surgery might be necessary to repair the tendon. A full recovery can take several months or longer.
The website Medscape Medical News, reporting from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2010 Annual Meeting published this quote on acute achilles tendon ruptures from Daniel Farber, MD, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore:
“In the United States, most surgeons will give lip service to nonoperative treatment, but in practice will lean much more heavily toward operative treatment. The vast majority of us will lean toward surgery. That is my bias. I tend to operate on these patients much more commonly than I treat them nonoperatively, unless they have some high surgical risk.”
How a Ruptured Tendon May Impact a Car Accident Claim
It is hard to figure out the prognosis of a ruptured tendon. Those who are injured should talk to their doctors to get a better idea of the short- and long-term effects of the injury before settling a car accident claim. Sometimes the treatment can only do so much and the accident victim is left to deal with ongoing issues.
Most people fully recover. However, a full recovery doesn’t mean a swift recovery. Victims could face months of missed time from work and pain and suffering. These, along with the medical costs, are just some of the expenses and losses that could be included in compensation from a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Accident victims in Arvada who suffer serious injuries, medical expenses, and other damages should first talk with an attorney to learn the best way to proceed with a claim. Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation to review the facts and details of the case.