Acute orthopedic injuries and mental health consequences

If you’ve been involved in a serious accident, you may have suffered one or more acute orthopedic injuries. An acute injury results from a sudden, violent event like a crash or fall. Acute orthopedic injuries involve the musculoskeletal system. This means that they can result in things like broken bones and torn muscles and ligaments.

Oftentimes, these injuries require surgery, months of recuperation, physical therapy and limitations in mobility. Of course, they can also be extremely painful.

Additionally, researchers have found, perhaps not surprisingly, that acute orthopedic injuries can cause serious mental health issues. A study published in 2017 revealed that over a quarter of the thousands of people studied with an acute orthopedic injury suffered PTSD. Nearly a third suffered depression. Further, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that panic disorders can also result from this type of injury.

When psychological issues occur in the aftermath of physical injuries

While most people don’t suffer long-term psychological issues as a result of these injuries, everyone’s brain is wired differently, so they experience traumatic events differently. A history of trauma or mental health issues can also play a role.

The specifics of the event that caused the injuries can certainly affect a person’s psychological response. A person who thought they were going to die – even for a second or two – can have a more difficult time recovering psychologically. Seeing a bone sticking out or part of your body badly mangled can affect a person’s post-crash mental health even after it’s repaired.

Certainly, the extent of a person’s injuries can also play a role. If a normally active person is suddenly unable to get around without a mobility aid or is in constant pain, that can lead to or exacerbate depression.

These psychological issues are too often overlooked while medical professionals, the patient and their loved ones focus on physical healing. However, unaddressed mental health symptoms can slow that healing process.

Just as it’s crucial to get the compensation you need from the party(ies) who are at fault for your physical injuries, you have a right to seek compensation for needed mental health treatment. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance in the wake of an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous conduct.