Understanding orthopedic trauma and its effect on mental health

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Personal Injury |

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury, you may have heard the term “orthopedic trauma.” What does that mean? An orthopedic injury is one that affects the musculoskeletal system. This includes the muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments throughout the body.

Orthopedic trauma generally involves an acute orthopedic injury that’s caused by a sudden event like a car crash, fall, sports accident or act of violence. A person who suffers this kind of injury can be dealing with months or even longer of incapacitation and pain.

Depression and PTSD can result from orthopedic trauma

It should come as no surprise that a significant number of people who suffer orthopedic trauma also suffer psychological issues that can add to their suffering and slow the healing process. One study found that more than 25% of patients with acute orthopedic injuries suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An even greater number (almost one third) suffered from depression.

Certainly, everyone reacts differently to accidents or other events and the resulting injuries. People with a history of psychological issues may be more greatly affected. However, other factors can cause mental health issues after an injury. For example, if someone feared for their life, even for a moment, if they were the victim of a crime or even if they saw a bone sticking out of a limb (let alone a mangled or severed limb), those things can stay with them long after the injury itself has started healing.

Doctors who treat orthopedic trauma patients emphasize the importance of psychological treatment along with medical treatment. That’s why if you or a loved one has suffered a serious orthopedic injury due to someone else’s actions or negligence, it’s critical that you factor in the cost of mental health treatment as you seek compensation from those at fault. Having sound legal guidance can help you get the settlement you deserve.