Auto accidents can be a very scary thing to be involved in. The insurance companies calling, the mental-emotional toll it takes, and the possibility of having a total loss of your vehicle are all stressful parts of recovering from a car accident. However, many times the various physical injuries that even the smallest car accidents can cause are often overlooked.
If you have just been in an auto accident, it is important to go to the doctor and get examined. Because even if you don’t feel anything the week following the accident, new injuries or issues may pop up as your body begins to try and recover from the traumatic event. In this article, we are going to discuss common auto accident injuries that may require orthopedic surgery, as well as other surgical procedures.
According to the Department of Transportation in the United States, more than six million car collisions happen every year. Just in the state of Florida alone, over 350,000 drivers are involved in a car accident. This results in over 200,000 injuries, which are all together are startling numbers when you think about it.
Florida drivers seem to be more distracted while on the road and find themselves in car accidents quite frequently. Car collisions can have devastating effects on someone’s life that can impact them for years to come. These resulting injuries can require various surgeries, and in particular orthopedic surgery.
In an auto accident, knee injuries tend to be very common. The knee is a very complex joint that can be very susceptible to many injuries in an auto accident. These injuries can take months of rehab, or even require a knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacement surgery is a very expensive investment. On average, a knee replacement surgery after an auto collision will cost about 50,000. This cost only covers the actual orthopedic surgery and does not include the investment that is physical therapy for the months to follow.
In addition to traumatic knee injuries, traumatic brain injuries are also quite common after auto accidents. These injuries can be mild, or life threatening depending on numerous factors. These factors include the severity of the accident, the individual’s age, and their overall health.
The cost of recovering from these traumatic brain injuries can be even more substantial than knee injuries. Even a mild brain injury can cost over 80,000. Traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, can total in the millions. With both kinds of brain injuries, they make significant impacts on your health and can create long-term medical conditions if they are not treated in a timely manner.
It is important to remember that a brain injury is typically able to heal by itself without the need for surgical procedures. Despite this, there is still a decent risk of fluid build-up or swelling in the brain. If swelling and build up in the patient’s brain becomes too high, surgical intervention will be required. To relieve pressure, the surgical team will remove part of the skull.
Unlike knee injuries, which are most common with front-end auto accidents, traumatic brain injuries are most common with rear-end car collisions. Unfortunately, many of these brain injuries do not always have obvious indications that can be physically seen. So following an auto accident, you will want to watch for behavioral cues that may indicate a traumatic brain injury.
These cues include:
- Slurred speaking
- Aggressive behavior
- A foggy short term memory
- Inability to stay focused
- Consistent headaches that continue to grow in severity
- Ears ringing (Tinnitus)
Another very common injury as a result of auto accidents is back and spinal cord injuries. Car accidents tend to have a brutal force exerted onto the body during the collision that can cause serious injuries. Some of these accidents can knock the discs or vertebrae out of place. These kinds of back injuries include herniated discs, compression fractures, spondylolisthesis, and more.
Most of these injuries can be treated without an invasive procedure. However, some of these injuries following an auto accident will require surgery. One of the most common neurological surgeries following a car collision is called a Discectomy.
A Discectomy is when the surgeon removes the damaged part of the herniated disc to relieve pain caused by pressure in the spine. This invasive surgery may require a spinal fusion as well, which can drive the cost up to 75,000.
You may be wondering what spinal fusion surgery is at this point. Spinal fusion surgery is when the damaged vertebrae are fused into a single section of bone that is overall more stable. This procedure will take at a minimum of a few months to recover from, and in total can cost at least 100,000 when factoring in MRI scans and physical therapy.
Another common spinal surgery is Kyphoplasty. Kyphoplasty is when a surgeon punctures the skin of the patient and inserts a medical-grade balloon. This balloon is inserted into the damaged vertebra and inflated to make a hollow space for a specific bone cement. This procedure in Florida typically costs about 16,000.
Lacerations are another injury that can occur during a major car accident. Thankfully, most modern vehicles come with tempered glass windows that do not shatter easily. Either way, lacerations can still occur during an auto accident, and they are typically a result of rear-end collisions when loose objects go flying around the car due to the impact.
Despite how painful these injuries are, they typically do not require surgical intervention. Instead, these lacerations are treated with antibiotics, bandages, or stitches. Lacerations that do require a surgical procedure however are internal injuries such as tears to the tendons, organs, or even arteries.
Broken bones and fractures are also very common in auto accidents, but thankfully they do not always need surgery to heal properly. The more severe breaks and fractures may require surgery, and the cost of these vary from injury to injury. The cost depends on the kind of injury, as well as the recovery process after. For example, a broken arm that needs surgery could cost over 16,000. However, the cost of a fractured hip can begin at 40,000.
Internal injuries are the last of the injuries we are going to discuss today. If you are dealing with an internal injury from your auto accident, you should think about going in for a surgical consultation. Internal bleeding crushed or punctured lungs, and other serious injuries are nearly impossible to price estimate here due to the severity and wide range of complications that come with injuries of this nature.
If you are dealing with injuries from an auto accident here in Florida, we urge you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If they recommend surgery, contact Surgery Consultants of Florida today to schedule your surgical consultation. We only employ board-certified surgeons and have various Florida clinics to choose from.