Auto accidents and work-related injuries happen every day and can be quite dangerous. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries and require a great deal of ongoing medical attention and usually may need the care of an orthopedic doctor.
Orthopedic is a medical term that involves the musculoskeletal system of the body. The musculoskeletal system of the body includes the ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles of the body.
Typically, orthopedics will consist of all injuries to musculoskeletal elements of the body, including bones, fractures, injuries, bone density, calcium deposits outside of healthy bony tissue, and the growth of bones.
Besides, you can have injuries to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Some of these injuries can include tears, tendonitis, ruptures (complete breaks), and hematoma or severe bruises.
Orthopedic surgery involves the examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and follow-up of issues relating to the musculoskeletal system of the body.
Orthopedic surgery is not just the actual surgical fixation of bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons, but also includes non-surgical aspects of treating and diagnosing diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgery is usually done under anesthesia and can involve the surgeon, residents, and assistance to help the surgery be performed quickly and safely.
Orthopedic surgery involves the surgeon making an incision and then performing the operation. Fixation consists of a fracture after a traumatic injury that is displaced. Displaced means that the bones are not approximated (touching each other). The surgeon will place a screw and plate to bring the bones together, thereby allowing the bone to knit and the leg to heal. Joint replacement may be necessary if there is a severe enough injury to the joint so that it is no longer functional. Ligamentous, tendinous, and muscular injury is usually resolved by stitching and pin placement.
After a worker’s compensation or a car accident, back injuries are common and can require fixation for spinal fractures to ensure that there is no pressure on the nerves exiting the spinal cord. This is just a basic overview of the methods that an orthopedic surgeon would employ for a patient who is suffering from an injury after an accident.
Orthopedic surgeons are a sub-specialty of orthopedic doctors (MD or DO) who specialize in the surgical repair or fixation of the musculoskeletal structures of the body when they are injured. First, the surgeon will attend medical school, then general surgery training, then an orthopedic training program with an option for fellowships in the specialization. This process can take 10 to 13 years of post-graduate education.
Orthopedic surgery can utilize intensive techniques to help repair injuries or deformities. This can involve screw fixation, tendon repair, plate fixation, tumor removal, medication for osteoporosis, incision and drainage, and traumatic repair from accidents or falls and the associated fractures or bony breaks. Within this specialty, there is a further specialty that involves different parts of the body. For instance, a surgeon may specialize in treating injuries in the shoulder, legs, lower back, neck, or cancer.
A surgeon may specialize even further and do the hands, hips, knees or lower legs strictly. This allows the surgeon to do thousands of surgeries on an involved body part, thereby improving his/her performance. Furthermore, some orthopedic surgeons will specialize in sports medicine. This involves the surgeon only working with an athletic population.
Orthopedic doctors focus only on musculoskeletal systems. It is a broad category and their many sub-specialty of physicians who are involved in the field of orthopedics. These specialties can include osteoporosis physicians, orthopedic surgeon, pediatrics, and geriatrics. This specialization allows the healthcare clinicians to gain more credible experts in their field and can lead to better outcomes for the patients.
Not all orthopedic doctors will be trained as physicians. An orthopedist can use surgical or nonsurgical means to help treat musculoskeletal injuries. In addition to work-related and auto accident injuries, these specialists also work with sports injuries, infections, congenital disorders, tumors, and degenerative diseases.
Depending on their sub-specialty, an orthopedic doctor could focus on surgical repair and injections, medication application, or environmental adjustment. An orthopedic surgeon does not always recommend surgery and is trained to exhaust all options before having to perform a surgery. Similarly, an orthopedic doctor will not perform extensive surgery but will usually focus on the non-surgical methods of orthopedic surgery or simple procedures such as incision and drainage.
There are different types of orthopedic doctors. They include the designation of non-surgical and surgical. As stated before, some specialize in: different areas of the body, sports orthopedic surgeons, joint replacement specialist, pediatric, geriatric, sports medicine or trauma surgeons that help in cases of auto accidents or workers’ compensation accidents or other injuries.
An orthopedic specialist is a healthcare practitioner that specializes in the medical structures of the body. This can be either non-surgical or surgical. Also, there are some practitioners other than MDs or DOs who specialize in orthopedics. Some of these practitioners include Physical Therapists, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners.
These advanced practitioners will be involved in the rehabilitation, surgery, medication management, and prevention of orthopedic related issues or diseases.
Typically, a healthcare professional will get an additional credential to gain recognition as an orthopedic specialist. This is usually done through non-profit organizations such as the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) or the AOS (American Orthopedic Society).
The most common orthopedic injury after an accident is a fracture of a bone in the body. The forceful nature of a fall or car accident will usually be the cause of the injury. Some fractures, if they are not that severe, will not need surgical intervention and can generally be managed with non-surgical methods.
Examples of non-surgical methods for bone healing include: splinting, orthopedic boots, slings, or other stabilization to ensure that the bone does not become more displaced.
If a bone is crushed or if there is a large displacement of the bone, like in a construction accident at work, so that the bone will never be able to knit, a surgeon may have to do some fixation with a screw, plate or rod. This fixation can usually stay in a person’s body; however, sometimes it can be removed if it causes discomfort in the patient.
An orthopedic surgeon will perform the surgery and ensure that the bones are healing properly. This assurance is done by performing an x-ray and having the pictures reviewed by both a radiologist and orthopedic specialist. If a joint is damaged from a traumatic car accident, a person may need a joint replacement or other surgery to remove the painful bony spurs from the involved joint.
Some symptoms of an orthopedic injury after a car accident include the inability to weight bear, extreme pain in joint or body part, bruising, or decreased range of motion in the joint. Usually, if you are involved in a car accident, orthopedic emergency services will suggest or take you to a hospital where an ER MD/PA/NP will determine if you need to be seen by an accident orthopedic specialist.
That will depend on the severity and type of injury that you sustain after an accident. For most auto accident injuries you would just need to be checked out by an ER MD or another emergency professional.
If you are having any of the following symptoms, it may indicate that you need to see an orthopedic specialist. These symptoms include: unable to bear weight on a leg or arm, decreased range of motion, pain in a joint or area of the body that is 7-8/10 on a numbered pain scale, severe bruising, joint dislocation or impaction. All of these symptoms and occurrences would require that you see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible.
In a short answer, you should see an Orthopedic Doctor as soon as you can after an auto accident. If there is an injury that results in the symptoms that were stated above, it is important that you try and ascertain the cause of the symptoms as soon as possible. This would mean that you need to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as you can so that the involved extremity can be investigated and examined for treatment.
For some injuries, such as a low back injury, a person may try to see if it gets better on its own. This usually is not the proper course of action and can cause needless pain and suffering on behalf of the patient.
With more severe injuries, an orthopedic surgeon may even be called into the ER to perform surgery right away. However, more commonly, orthopedic surgeons are consulted after other treatment plans have been implemented.
Many times, after an injury, when physical therapy has failed, and pain and other problems continue, an orthopedic surgeon will be consulted in order to determine an alternative course of action that can repair the injury internally through a surgery. Typically, with auto accidents, orthopedic accident doctors are called in for spinal injuries, fractures in the clavicle, broken ribs, shoulder or arm; wrist fractures; hip leg and pelvic fractures or ankle heel and knee injuries.
Depending on what type of care you are receiving following an auto accident, your existing physician or physical therapist may recommend that you see an orthopedist for a second opinion and to determine whether or not surgery is the right course of action for your particular issue. Your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon, or you may need to find your own New York orthopedic surgeon on your own.
The good news is, there are many orthopedic surgeons throughout the state of New York and many that specialize in helping those who have been injured in auto and work-related accidents
Immediate symptoms of accident orthopedic injuries are swelling, pain, tenderness to touch, bruising, deformities of the boney tissue, and an inability to utilize the involved extremity for activities of daily living. Most of the symptoms will last well beyond 24 hours and will need to be seen by an orthopedist.
Some delayed symptoms of accident orthopedic injuries include: decreased range of motion in the affected joint, decreased strength, and an inability to utilize the joint or limb that has been injured. After an injury, it can take 24 to 48 hours for swelling to cause the pain and decreased range of motion that is typically associated with an accident orthopedic injury.
Yes, an orthopedic doctor can treat injuries to the soft tissues. They are the specialists for the musculoskeletal system, which, includes the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Since the bony structure of the body will routinely interact with soft tissues, an orthopedic doctor can be used to assist in the treatment of the soft tissues that are surrounding the injured joint or limb.
After a traumatic injury, it is important that your first consult be an orthopedic physician. This is usually a trauma orthopedic surgeon in the hospital but can be a general orthopedic surgeon if the injury is not severe. The reason for this is to ensure that you do not have any life-threatening or limb-threatening issues in your body.
After the consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, he/she may recommend surgery, injections, and medication management. After or before those procedures, a surgeon might refer you to a Physical Therapist.
A Physical Therapist is a healthcare professional that is involved in the rehabilitation of the body after an injury. They will usually employ manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, balance training, functional training, and modalities. Furthermore, a chiropractor may be utilized if there is a back injury that does not require surgical intervention.
After orthopedic surgery, it is important to adhere to certain modalities and treatments to alleviate pain. Most of the pain caused by surgery is from the incision and associated swelling that causes compression on the nerves.
After surgery, it is immediately important to rest, ice, compress, and elevate or (RICE).
It is recommended that you ice 20-30 minutes every 2 hours and you have compression/elevation for most of the waking hours. This is usually recommended for the first 4-6 weeks from surgery.
Yes. New York Worker’s Compensation Insurance covers orthopedic doctor bills for treatment of injuries sustained a result of a work accident. Workers’ Comp insurance is mandatory for all NYS employers, and as long as you take a few simple steps to file a worker’s compensation claim, you should have no problems getting your medical bills paid.
One thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your orthopedist is an Authorized Provider by the NY State Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB). You can check on the NYS WCB website or use the Injured Call Today search tool to find a WCB Authorized Workers’ Comp orthopedic surgeon.
Yes. You can change your workers’ comp orthopedic doctor at any time. Make sure to ask for all of your medical records and reports from the original orthopedist.
Yes. If you’re injured in an automobile accident in New York, you are eligible for no-fault insurance coverage. What this means is no matter who was at fault for the car accident, no-fault insurance can help cover some, or all, of your medical bills including the cost of your orthopedic care under the New York no-fault law.
If you are struggling to heal and recover from a traumatic accident injury and have decided to seek out an orthopedic surgeon, then finding the right professional for the job is very important. However, with so many different orthopedic surgeons in the New York metropolitan area, finding the right professional for the job can be challenging.
You not only need to find a doctor that works with your type of injuries and one that will take your insurance but a doctor you can trust as well. Make sure that you check with your orthopedic surgeon and make sure that they treat personal injury and accident cases such as yours.
You should also make sure that you contact more than one orthopedic surgeon and get at least two opinions if you were indicated for surgery —this is the best course of action to make sure you are not only finding the right doctor but getting a proper procedure done. It is best not to jump the gun when it comes to deciding on surgery. While it may take some time to decide on orthopedic surgery, this can be one of the most effective ways of making sure that you get your injuries treated the right way.
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Orthopedic Surgery. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://med.nyu.edu/orthosurgery/about-us/our-divisions/orthopaedic-trauma
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