It is essential to get proper medical care after a car accident, as injuries are not always immediately apparent. Seeing a doctor sooner can put you one step closer to recovery. With so many doctors to choose from, making an appointment with an orthopedic doctor in New York can be a wise decision.
Before getting into why you should see an orthopedist after an auto accident, you need to understand what orthopedic doctors do. They are highly specialized physicians who treat degenerative diseases or injuries to the nerves, joints, and bones.
Orthopedists are highly specialized medical professionals. After graduating from medical school, they train in an orthopedic surgeon residency for up to five years. Around 60 percent of orthopedists choose a sub-specialization, with the rest becoming general practice orthopedists. Of the sub-specialties, sports medicine, hand surgery, and joint replacement are the most common.
Those who choose a specialization must still undergo the same education as general orthopedic surgeons, plus additional more-specialized training, making them all qualified to see you after a car accident. That said, choosing a doctor with a specialization in your particular types of injuries can improve your experience and healing.
With the understanding of orthopedic doctors’ role in mind, it is time to look at why you should visit one after being in a car accident.
Regardless of the type of physician you see following a car accident, one of the primary goals is to diagnose any injuries quickly so that you can start treatment.
An orthopedic doctor can help with this by conducting a range of tests. While your general practitioner could run similar tests, their lack of specialization can easily cause them to miss things that orthopedic specialists may notice.
Remember that your symptoms can worsen down the road if your doctor does not find the problem right away. Even if the symptoms do not worsen, you may have difficulty proving that the injury was sustained in the accident. In this case, your insurer may decline coverage.
Common Injuries From Car Accidents That Orthopedic Doctors Can Treat
Although orthopedic doctors can treat a range of conditions that occur after a car accident, some are more common than others. These include disc herniations, broken hips, fractured or broken hands or fingers, fractured or broken ribs or clavicle, torn ACL or MCL, or shoulder impingements.
It is also possible for a car crash to trigger a degenerative disease that affects the soft tissues orthopedic doctors treat. If the accident triggers one of these diseases, your symptoms may continue to worsen without treatment. An orthopedist can spot these problems and provide treatment and stop them from deteriorating due to the accident. Examples of these conditions include tendonitis, hip bursitis, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and arthritis.
With an average of millions of car accidents occurring in the United States each year, experts have plenty of proof that pain and injuries do not always make themselves immediately apparent. Whiplash is a notorious example of this phenomenon, as it can take days or sometimes even weeks for symptoms to first appear.
Unfortunately, the injuries causing delayed onset pain are the type less likely to be noticed by your general practitioner. The advanced diagnostic equipment that orthopedic doctors can use, combined with their specialized training, means that they are better equipped to spot problems, even those your primary physician would not notice.
One of the most common types of injuries from car accidents is those to the soft tissues, meaning the cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. They are also harder to quantify, meaning that treatment typically requires the attention of a specialist. You don’t need to worry about it, as orthopedists are well-qualified to find and treat soft tissue injuries. An orthopedic specialist will often refer you to an experienced physical therapist or chiropractor to treat soft tissue injuries.
This is important as soft tissue damage can be as severe, debilitating, and problematic as damage to bones or other parts of your body. By treating soft tissue injuries, orthopedic surgeons will help you get on the road to recovery so that you can get back to your regular life more quickly.
Of course, if your injuries involve broken bones (fractures), an orthopedic doctor will help you diagnose and treat.
Some people are hesitant to see an orthopedic specialist because they are concerned that an orthopedist will always recommend surgery. Another concern is that an orthopedic doctor will try to solve their problems in a single visit and then not pay attention to them and their needs. However, this is far from the case. Just like any other doctor, an orthopedist will try the least-invasive, conservative treatment first and provide ongoing treatment for as long as you need it.
In the case of injuries from car accidents, this means regular treatment and consultations as you heal. The treatment will only stop once your symptoms have disappeared, and you can return to your daily life. This is particularly important as some injuries require an extended time to heal.
After a motor vehicle accident, you will likely seek insurance coverage or other compensation for your injuries. An orthopedic doctor can assist you with this by providing accurate and timely documentation, which proves your injuries’ severity.
The only thing to keep in mind is that some of the paperwork requirements may be confusing to doctors who are not familiar with insurance claims from accidents.
Yet another reason to visit an orthopedic doctor after a car crash is that No-Fault Insurance covers orthopedic and other necessary medical care. Medical bills up to $50,000 are covered by no-fault insurance in New York. An experienced orthopedist that accepts no-fault insurance can provide documentation of the necessity of your care. This is very important, as it means you do not have to worry about the medical bills and instead focus on getting the best care and your recovery.
If you were injured in an auto accident in New York and are looking for an experienced orthopedist near you, call 1-800-897-8440 today.
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