The human body is remarkably complex. Unfortunately, after a catastrophic injury or car crash, you might notice that some of your conditions take longer to heal. While complications can occur in any injury, crash victims with brain, neck, back, knee, shoulder, and other joint issues typically have longer healing times. Below, Crosley Law’s personal injury experts explain why you might experience a slower recovery than expected for certain types of injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Can Require Long Recoveries
Your brain is a complicated structure made of nerves, blood cells, and tissue. After an injury, it only has a limited ability to create new cells and tissues. Instead of replacing damaged or dead cells, your brain has to “rewire” itself.
First, your brain and body clear out dead brain cells. At the same time, nearby healthy nerve bundles called neurons start to adapt to the injury. They slowly compensate for the lost neurons and learn new functions. This all takes time and a lot of energy.
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Most TBI victims participate in intensive, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programs that help them relearn how to speak, eat, walk, perform daily tasks, and build up their mental endurance. Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can take two or more years to heal — and some cause permanent disability. If you’ve suffered a TBI in a car crash or because of someone else’s carelessness, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away.
Spine and Back Injuries Are Often Complex
Like the brain, the spine is one of your body’s most complicated structures. It contains nerves, ligaments, muscles, bones, discs, and other structures that are vital to your nervous and musculoskeletal systems. During a car crash, your neck and back can undergo intense trauma that can cause herniated discs, nerve damage, spine fractures, and other serious injuries.
Bones and nerves heal slowly. A mild back strain might only take a few days to recover from. But a serious spine injury can require surgery and take a year or more to completely heal, if it ever does.
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After a neck, back, or spine injury, many car wreck victims undergo multi-disciplinary treatment that includes:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care or massage therapy
- Surgeries, such as fusions, laminectomies, and discectomies
- Chronic pain management, such as medication and injection therapy
Sometimes, neck and spine injury victims are frustrated because surgery doesn’t completely resolve their pain. Unfortunately, surgery can only do so much, and it’s sometimes impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of your back pain. Post-operatively, you might still have degenerative changes or arthritis in your back, which can cause serious pain and limitations.
Shoulder and Knee Injuries Often Have Slow Recoveries
During a car crash, your body is subjected to numerous forces that can push and pull on your joints. It’s not uncommon for victims to experience increased joint pain after a wreck, especially in their knees and shoulders.
If you experience severe joint pain after a car crash, you should seek immediate medical care. You might have serious injuries that require surgery—and you could make the injury worse if you try to “tough it out.” Depending on the nature of your knee or shoulder injury, you might require:
- Diagnostic imaging studies, such as MRIs or CT scans
- Physical therapy
- Injection therapy that helps reduce swelling and inflammation
- Arthroscopic surgery to remove damaged joint tissues
- Total knee or shoulder replacement
- Chronic pain management services
If you need a total knee or shoulder replacement after a vehicle crash or other event, you’ll typically face a slow recovery. When doctors replace a joint, they remove large amounts of bone, cartilage, and other structures and replace them with artificial components.
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After surgery, your bone needs to mesh with the new artificial joint, and your muscles and ligaments need to heal. For total knee and shoulder replacements, this process can take a year or more. While hip replacements sometimes have a quicker recovery, it can still take six months or more.
Ankle and Foot Injuries May Take Longer to Heal
Blood flow is vital to your body’s healing process. Unfortunately, your ankles and feet have fewer veins than the rest of your body. This means that an injured foot or ankle gets less oxygen, fewer infection-fighting white blood cells, and less nutrients to help it heal.
This can cause complications including infection or non-union of a broken bone. These issues can require more treatment, surgeries, or even amputation in rare situations.
“Insurance companies look for reasons to deny or reduce the value of complicated claims involving back, neck, knee, shoulder, and brain injuries.”
When Should I Discuss my Injuries with a Car Accident Lawyer?
Injuries that heal slowly typically require intense treatment and result in significant medical bills. For these reasons, insurance companies look for reasons to deny or reduce the value of complicated claims involving back, neck, knee, shoulder, and brain injuries.
While you shouldn’t give up on medical treatment and follow your doctors’ orders to the best of your ability, you might also need help from an experienced Texas injury lawyer. The sooner you consult with a car crash attorney, the sooner they can start compiling your evidence and calculating your losses.
At Crosley Law, we know how overwhelming an injury can feel when you’re taking time off work and your medical bills are growing. We help our clients retake control of their lives and demand fair compensation for their injuries. To learn more about our unique, client-centered approach to injury law, contact us today.
Crosley Law: Experienced Texas Injury Attorneys Representing Victims in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one because of someone else’s actions (or inaction), contact Crosley Law for a free consultation. We use our legal expertise and extensive medical knowledge to advocate for our clients and demand fair compensation for their injuries. To request a consultation, complete our online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.