There are few events more potentially dangerous to humans than vehicle accidents. When these large, heavy, and fast moving pieces of steel and other strong materials collide with each other or other very hard stationary objects, the result is often devastating injuries for the occupants. Unfortunately vehicle accidents occur nearly every minute of every day in the US and as a result there are thousands of injured and dozens killed. It is true that most vehicle accidents do not result in catastrophic injury, but it is also true that often occupants walk or limp away from an accident thinking they are fine only to discover later that they did in fact receive significant injuries to the spine, head or internal organs. This is why spine specialists like Dr. Joseph Yazdi warn that anyone involved in a vehicle accident needs to be examined by a physician to see if he or she has sustained one of these types of injuries:
Soft tissue injuries
These injuries of the tendons, ligaments and muscles, are the most common in vehicle accidents. They include tears, sprains, strains and general soreness. Whiplash is the most common named injury which generally occurs in rear-end and sudden impact collisions causing the occupant to have his neck jerked suddenly. Whiplash symptoms include: neck pain, stiffness, headache, burning sensations, shoulder and back pain and dizziness. Soft tissue injuries can often take a substantial amount of time to heal.
Sudden vehicle deceleration is the culprit in many vehicle crash injuries and when there is injury it usually includes dislocations. A dislocation occurs when there is an abnormal separation in the joint, where two or more bones meet. There may be a partial or total dislocation and either will occur due to sudden trauma on the joint when a body part makes an impact with a part of the vehicle. They can occur in any joint and can cause damage to the surrounding ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Dislocations can be serious injuries that can involve the spine.
Can occur to the bowels, kidneys, the spleen, liver, lungs, heart or aorta. They are common in in serious vehicle accidents where the vehicle decelerates quickly. Another common occurrence is fractured ribs causing punctured lungs and other internal organs. The challenge with these types of injuries is often the most serious injuries have the smallest amount of pain or discomfort. So, in the event of a serious accident it is imperative that the occupants be taken to a hospital for a full diagnosis of any injuries by a medical professional.
Vehicle accidents are breeding ground for broken bones. Typical breaks can vary from cracked ribs to more serious ones that may require surgery, physical therapy, and long-term recovery. If there is rolling or compacting of the vehicle, there is a higher likelihood of broken bones and in many cases if the breaks are severe, they can lead to permanent loss of function.