A San Antonio injury clinic treats common car accident injuries that can be classified as either impact injuries or penetrating injuries. Impact injuries affect the soft tissue, head, spine, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs, while penetrating injuries can cause cuts and scrapes. The severity of the injuries will depend on whether the injured person was:
- Wearing a seat belt
- Hit from the rear, side, or front
- Facing straight ahead or if their head or body was turned
The extent of the injuries will also depend on whether the accident was low-speed or high speed and if the car had airbags.
What are Soft Tissue Injuries?
A soft tissue injury affects the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. One type of soft tissue injury is whiplash in the neck and upper back. This type of injury is caused by a sudden movement imposed on the head and neck that causes the muscles and ligaments to stretch and become sprained.
Scrapes and Cuts
During a car accident, loose objects in the vehicle such as cell phones, coffee mugs, dash-mounted GPS systems, and eyeglasses, can cut through the skin and cause other visible injuries. These scrapes and cuts may be minor, or they may lead to blood loss and require stitches.
A serious car accident may cause a skull fracture, which is when the bone in the skull breaks. A fracture is greater than 3 mm in width, widest at the center and narrow at the tips, runs through the outer and inner lamina of bone, and has angular turns. A break less than 2 mm in width, with a uniform width, and angled curve is considered a skull suture, not a fracture.
A linear or basilar fracture will heal on its own, but an open fracture will require antibiotics to reduce the risk of contamination. Patients with swelling in their brain tissue may need a craniectomy, a procedure done to remove part of the skull to allow the swollen brain to expand.
A car accident could also cause a concussion, which is a short-term injury that could cause confusion, migraines, loss of consciousness, inability to concentrate, poor balance, difficulty sleeping, tinnitus, and cognitive impairment. Physicians at the San Antonio injury clinic will evaluate a patient’s symptoms and conduct the necessary testing to determine if a patient has suffered a concussion.
Car accidents are a common cause of spinal injuries that could include herniated discs and even paralysis. A herniated disc is a condition in which the soft jelly-like substance that sits between the vertebrae is moved out of place. A healthy disc provides critical support to the spine and acts as a shock absorber, whereas a herniated disc could cause muscle weakness, tingling or numbness in the legs or arms, and sharp, radiating pain.