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Types of Procedures After a Car Accident

When you or a loved one have been in an automobile accident, your life can change in an instant. Injuries stemming from a car accident can affect the entire body and mind, and leave lasting physical and emotional damage.

Some of the most common injuries after an accident impact your body’s bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nervous system.

A collection of medical specialists, including orthopedic surgeons, interventional pain management doctors, and neurologists, will often work collaboratively to create the best treatment plan possible for your unique assortment of injuries.

In this resource, we will discuss the most common procedures and tests that are performed by orthopedists, IPM specialists, and neurologists following an auto accident.

Florida Orthopedic Spinal Surgery

Injuries to the spine are not uncommon during auto accidents, and the damage done can sometimes become permanent, if not corrected through surgical intervention. Luckily, with improving technologies, many advancements have been made in the orthopedic surgery field, which can successfully correct the injury and offer lasting pain relief with the least amount of downtime.

In more extreme injury cases, surgical intervention might be required or recommended. Below you will encounter several of the most common orthopedic spinal surgery procedures that you would see after a Florida Beach car accident.

  • Following a motor vehicle accident, you may need to have a total disc replacement. This is a specific type of back surgery that involves replacing a worn-out or degenerated disc with an artificial disc. Even though it can take place in just about any part of the back, it commonly takes place in the lumbar region. The most common disc that needs to be replaced is either between L3 and L4 or between L4 and L5. After the disk has been replaced, patients usually need to go to physical therapy to increase their strength and range of motion. Pain relief medication is usually required temporarily.
  • A spinal fusion is one of the most common types of back procedures. If someone has suffered a herniated disc, inflammation and pain develop because two discs are rubbing against one another. A spinal fusion involves fusing two of the discs together to stop this type of movement, alleviating the pain that people commonly feel. Following a spinal fusion procedure, many patients need to go through physical therapy to improve their flexibility and range of motion. Pain relief medications are usually required temporarily following the procedure.
  • A laminectomy is a specific surgical procedure that removes a chunk of the vertebrae, called the lamina. Essentially, this is the top portion of the spinal canal. The goal is to create more space between the vertebrae to alleviate inflammation and pain. It may be recommended to someone who has shooting or stabbing pains flowing from the back to other parts of the body where other interventions have not been successful. Typically, patients need physical therapy to complete the recovery process after the operation. The doctor will often prescribe pain-relieving medication for the first few days after the procedure.
  • A discogram is a specific type of test that is used to evaluate different causes of back pain. It can help doctors figure out whether someone's back pain is coming from a specific disc in the back or from another source. By providing doctors with information about the discs in the back, it is easier for them to decide which treatment method to recommend.
  • Relievant is a medical company that has developed a minimally invasive procedure that can help patients who suffer from back pain. The procedure is designed to target specific nerves that might be contributing to back pain and certain individuals. Depending on the exact nerve that is causing back pain, a spine surgeon might consider Relievant as one of the possible treatment options.
  • This is a medical device company that has developed a procedure for quickly and efficiently removing a disc following a lumbar spine herniation. The most common location for a herniated disc is in the lumbar region of the spine. This is a treatment technique that combines a wide variety of traditional surgical steps at once, making it easier for spine surgeons to perform the procedure quickly and safely.

Florida Orthopedic Extremity Surgery

Also common during auto accident events are injuries to the bones & joints of the body’s extremities, which will almost always require examination and treatment from an orthopedic specialist.

Minimally invasive surgery, surgical reconstruction and arthroscopic treatments for shoulders, knees, feet and hands are all possible after an auto accident. In certain situations, arthroscopic surgery can also be utilized, which comes with the added benefits of quicker recovery times and less pain that conventional surgical methods.

Below you will find descriptions of the most common orthopedic extremity surgery options after a Florida car wreck.

  • A shoulder arthroscopy is a procedure that provides the doctor with information related to potential problems involving the shoulder. During the procedure, the surgeon will insert a small camera into the shoulder. The surgeon will take pictures, trying to identify where the pain is coming from. Finally, the surgeon will put the images together to provide a diagnosis, and work with the patient to develop a treatment plan to address the issues that have been uncovered. Some patients might recover with physical therapy and medication, while other people might require a more invasive surgical procedure.
  • If someone has been diagnosed with a SLAP lesion, they have suffered an injury involving the glenoid labrum. They typically involve one of the heads of the bicep muscles as well. The exact treatment process will vary depending on the type of SLAP lesion, but the treatment is often a combination of rest, cortisone shots, physical therapy, and surgical repair. The prognosis depends on the severity of the lesion and the age of the patient.
  • The synovium refers to the connective tissue between the joints in the body. If the connective tissue becomes inflamed, or if there is a bone spur in the area, a partial synovectomy might be required. This involves removing chunks of inflamed synovium, developing a plan for physical therapy, and controlling future inflammation in that specific location. Typically, the procedure is completed by making a few small incisions in the joint, breaking up the inflamed material, and removing it from the joint. If the inflammation is particularly severe, then a complete synovectomy might be required.
  • A limited debridement refers to a small procedure where the surgeon will try to remove scar tissue and areas of inflammation from a joint. This procedure can be performed on just about any joint in the body including the knees, the ankles, the shoulders, the hips, and the elbow. The scope of the debridement will vary depending on the severity of the pain and inflammation. The surgeon will collect information using imaging scans, such as CT scans and MRIs. Then, using these procedures, the surgeon will create a focused approach for removing scar tissue that could contribute to pain and inflammation.
  • The rotator cuff is a set of several muscles including the subscapularis, the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, and the teres minor. If any one of these muscles has been torn, the diagnosis is a rotator cuff injury. During the surgical repair, the surgeon will take the torn tendon and reattach it to the proper location. If the muscle has only been partially torn instead of completely torn, then debridement might be recommended instead of total repair. Following the procedure, most patients will require physical therapy to complete the recovery process.
  • The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that is designed to cushion the bones of the knee, including the patella, the femur, and the tibia. If the meniscus has been damaged or torn, the surgeon may recommend a knee meniscectomy, which involves removing the damaged meniscus from the knee. It typically takes patients about a month to recover from this procedure. The other option is to repair the meniscus, but this is something that is discussed on a case-by-case basis.
  • If the meniscus is not completely torn, then the surgeon may recommend meniscectomy including shaving. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove chunks of the ligament that have been damaged. Then, the surgeon will try to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible, leaving a significant chunk of the meniscus behind. The surgeon will clean and smooth out the areas surrounding the remaining ligament, providing some cushion to the bones of the knee. Physical therapy is required for a few months after this procedure.
  • An orthopedic surgeon is responsible for performing an ACL repair. Typically, this procedure involves fashioning a new ACL using tissue from somewhere else in the body. A portion of hamstring muscle is usually used to fashion a new ACL ligament. During the procedure, the surgeon will also clean up any inflammation or scar tissue that might be leftover following the tear. Following an ACL repair, physical therapy is typically needed for about a year before resuming athletic activity. In individuals who suffer a repeat ACL repair, different types of tissues might be used for subsequent repairs.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to inflammation that takes place in the carpal tunnel, which is located in the forearm. The carpal tunnel protects a variety of important structures, including the median nerve. If the median nerve has become inflamed, the surgeon will try to alleviate pressure on the nerve to give it more room to operate appropriately. Typically, this involves opening up the carpal tunnel and releasing it, alleviating any compression on the nerve. The pain relief is usually immediate, but some physical therapy might be required to restore mobility, flexibility, and range of motion to the wrist following the procedure.

Florida Interventional Pain Management

IPM is an assortment of minimally invasive medical procedures which are offered to help minimize auto accident injury pains, and help the injury victim to recover function using non-surgical means, ultimately leading to a return to the victim's daily activities free from pain.

After a complete exam and analysis of MRI/X-ray results, IPM specialists can provide the following procedures after a Florida car accident to help reduce pain:

  • An epidural steroid injection is an injection of an anti-inflammatory medication into the epidural space. The epidural space is between the vertebrae and the nerves of the spinal column. Typically, these are delivered in the lumbar region of the back, as this is the most common location for back pain; however, they can be administered to other areas of the spine as well. Depending on the severity of the pain and the type of steroid used, the pain relief could last for several months; however, these injections may need to be repeated to keep the pain from returning.
  • A facet and medial branch block is a specific type of nerve block that is administered to figure out where the pain is coming from. A facet block is a local anesthetic or steroid that is administered into the joint of the vertebrae of the spinal column. With a medial branch block, the anesthetic is administered outside the joint. Based on the pain relief (or absence of pain relief), the doctor can figure out where the pain is coming from and make a decision about what type of procedure or treatment to do next.
  • A radiofrequency neurotomy is a procedure that uses heat from radio waves to target specific nerves. If a doctor can figure out which nerve is responsible for the pain someone is feeling, he or she can use a radiofrequency neurotomy to temporarily turn off the nerves and blunt the pain signals. Needles are inserted into painful areas. Then, the radio waves are turned on to dull the targeted nerves. By turning off the nerves, it is possible to stop the pain signals coming from those nerves, leading to pain relief.
  • A large joint steroid injection is similar to other steroid injections; however, they typically use larger doses of steroids and target larger joints. For example, a large joint steroid injection can be used to help someone treat hip pain. Or, this same type of procedure can be used to treat knee pain. The steroid chosen can vary depending on the severity of the discomfort and the joint being targeted. Similar to other steroid injections, the procedure may need to be repeated to prevent the pain from coming back.
  • A trigger point injection is a procedure used to promote pain relief. With this procedure, the doctor will target knots, which are balls of muscle tissue that form when the muscle fibers do not relax. If you feel a knot underneath the surface of your skin, and you do not believe it is a bone, there is a chance that there is a muscular knot there. It might be possible to get these knots to go away using trigger point injections. The injection uses a specific medication that causes muscle fibers to relax. Then, when the fiber is released, the knot goes away, leading to pain relief. Trigger point injections may need to be repeated if the knot returns, but the knots usually do not return without strenuous activity or another traumatic event.

Florida Neurology

Many neurological issues can occur during an auto accident, including concussions,headaches, traumatic brain Injuries (TBI), and other abnormalities that can be caused by trauma from a car accident.

In the event of a neurological injury, a neurologist will likely perform a thorough examination, and provide treatment options focused on improving neurological deficits and improving the brain’s neuroplasticity.

After a Florida car accident, expect a neurologist to perform one (or several) of the neurological tests below, and combine the results of those tests with blood work results, cognitive exercises, and advice on nutrition, to help create the best overall health outcomes.

  • An EMG test, also known as an NCV test, is used to test how quickly different nerves can conduct different signals from place to place. Different nerves have different standards that are typically met for various types of signals. During this procedure, the doctor will insert a small needle into the nerve or muscle. Then, the doctor will ask the patient to flex or extend the limb. During the test, the doctor will measure the speed with which the signal moves. If the signal speed is low, then the doctor has identified the source of the issue, and the treatment can focus on that nerve.
  • Videonystagmography is a test that measures involuntary eye movements. Following serious traumatic events, like car accidents, people may have involuntary eye movements such as horizontal nystagmus, which refers to an eye that moves from left to right involuntarily, or vertical nystagmus, which refers to an eye that moves up and down involuntarily. If this test detects abnormalities, it could be a sign of an issue with an individual eye muscle, a cranial nerve, or a specific portion of the brain. The results of the test can be used to direct future treatment plans.
  • An EEG is a specific type of test that measures brain waves. There are numerous types of brain waves that come from different lobes of the brain, and a neurologist will analyze the EEG to look for any abnormalities. For example, some people who are involved in a car accident may suffer repeat seizures, and they can be detected on the EEG. Depending on the appearance of the waves, the neurologist can identify the portion of the brain that has been damaged, and this information can be used to direct the treatment plan.

Florida Car Accident Lawyers

If you have suffered in the event of a car accident in Florida, our experienced personal injury attorneys stand ready to fight for you, to help you maximize your settlement, so you can keep your focus where it should be, on your physical recovery from your injuries.

We hope that you have found this resource helpful, and we also hope that you will call our skilled auto accident attorneys at 833-333-3333 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Call (833) 333-3333
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