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The psychological effect of orthopedic trauma

On Behalf of | May 2, 2023 | Auto Accidents

When someone suffers an acute orthopedic injury, which is a serious injury to any part of the musculoskeletal system, it’s often considered “orthopedic trauma.” According to the Mt. Sinai Health System, orthopedic trauma usually involves an injury caused by an “external force, such as a severe fall, a serious accident, or even a violent attack.” 

The musculoskeletal system runs throughout the body. It includes our bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and cartilage. An injury to any of them – let alone multiple injuries – can result in not only severe pain but also a loss of mobility that most of us take for granted.

The trauma involved in acute orthopedic injuries often isn’t just physical, but also psychological. In one study of more than 7,000 people who had suffered this type of injury, researchers found that nearly a third were suffering from depression and over a quarter had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The events surrounding the injury often play a role   

The circumstances around the injury are one factor in whether people suffer serious psychological issues. A violent attack, as noted above, would be one example. However, so would anything especially frightening or disturbing. 

Maybe someone was in a car crash, for example, and feared they would die, either just before or even after it occurred. Maybe they fell from a height and saw their arm or leg bent, mangled or severed.

Psychological treatment can help physical recovery

You can’t separate physical recovery from psychological recovery. However, as one surgeon says, “Support for the psychological distress of orthopedic trauma patients is often overshadowed by a focus on the effective management of the patient’s fracture.”

If you or a loved one has suffered an acute orthopedic injury caused by the actions or negligence of another party, it’s crucial to factor in the mental health treatment they may well need in both the short and long term to heal as fully as possible when determining how much compensation to seek. This is why it’s important to have sound legal guidance before accepting any settlement.