Structurally, our skeletons define us in a way that is both good and bad. Childbirth is harder with narrow, upright hips, but being able to use our arms has essentially allowed us to develop civilization. Bones are the body’s framework, joints and connective tissue hold them in place, and muscles allow the parts to move.
Orthopedic injuries are trauma or systemic damage, whether through disease or genetics, that affect this frame: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscle. A broken bone may not seem that bad, but it can be terrible for you in the wrong situation. Untreated fractures and open wounds can lead to infection, compartment syndrome, and worse.
In short, these are serious injuries, and they need to be taken seriously. Especially by the people whose negligent actions caused them.
Where Do Orthopedic Injuries Tend to Come From?
Overall, falls and vehicle wrecks outdistance the other causes of orthopedic injuries by a large margin. However, we’ve seen many people wrench their parts out of place during recreational activities, like skiing or playing tackle football. Construction sites also see their fair share of bone and joint damage, including repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. And a fall doesn’t necessarily mean a fall from somewhere up high to the ground below: wiping out on a wet floor can do almost as much damage. Trust us, we’ve handled hundreds of these cases.
Surprisingly, a new review of emergency room records shows that dog-walking leads to many broken bones in older adults. We’ve seen great programs encouraging “senior pets for senior citizens” and honestly, elderly dogs are less likely to try to chase the cat across the street and pull you off your feet. Between 2004 and 2017, at least 32,624 fall-related fractures involved older people walking leashed dogs.
Not every orthopedic injury warrants a lawsuit, but you may be surprised at how liability really works in Colorado. You may think slipping and falling on your way to the bathroom is a cause for embarrassment, and you’re right. If a facility pays its staff to maintain the premises, they should be embarrassed that they allowed a patron to suffer serious injury on their watch.
What Are Some Common Orthopedic Injuries?
In our practice, we’ve seen:
- Sprains A stretch or tear in a ligament.
- Strains: A stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon.
- Dislocations: When the end of a bone pops out of its joint.
- Fractures: Breaks in the bone, whether hairline or transverse, stable or comminuted.
- Septic joints: Bacterial infection in a joint, often caused by poor wound care after surgery (like a hip replacement).
The hips, knees, and shoulders are most likely to suffer this type of trauma. The rotator cuff in the shoulder has many joints and ligaments and moving parts that can be pull out of alignment after an accident, and may require surgery.
What Makes It Harder to Heal?
There are five risk factors that researchers in a recent study tabulated when it comes to how well a patient is expected to heal. They are:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Dependence on alcohol.
- Dependence on tobacco products.
Most of these factors can be controlled with medication, counseling, and strong emotional support. After an accident, you need a law firm that knows how to address the entire person of the victim: body, brain, and spirit.
What Helps You to Heal?
Reuters Health also named four proactive factors in patients’ recoveries:
- Social support.
- Self-efficacy for return to usual activity.
- Self-efficacy for managing the financial demands of recovery.
When it comes to “managing the financial demands of recovery,” our law firm is expert-level. We’ve settled more than one million-dollar case over orthopedic injuries, and we intend to keep doing it. When our clients call us, they’re seriously injured and scared. How can they afford this? What did they do to deserve this? Our Denver personal injury lawyers go to work to find out what really went wrong in the fateful incident, and find the money to pay for it.
We know these are nearly catastrophic injuries, since they can disrupt your ability to make a living. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we specialize in recovery for orthopedic injuries. Call our Denver office at (303) 502-5587 to schedule a free consultation today. We also have offices in Boulder and Fort Collins.