An auto injury accident can be one of the most stressful things a person experiences in their lifetime. Unfortunately, approximately 25,000 Oklahomans each year are involved in automobile collisions. The challenge for many is knowing where to seek proper evaluation and treatment following the accident. Patients will often present to either an urgent care clinic or the general emergency department at the nearest hospital, which is not necessarily the wrong decision.
First, rule out severe injuries from a serious accident
Having an initial exam at one of these facilities immediately following an accident is very important when it is clear you have sustained an injury at the scene of an auto accident. An emergency room facility will identify potentially serious injuries such as fractures or internal injuries suffered in high-speed collisions. However, many people involved in an accident don’t realize that these facilities generally focus on life-threatening or severe auto accident injuries. Patients are routinely dismissed with injuries that are not deemed “severe” or “life-threatening” enough to remain in the hospital only to find out much later that they have suffered a significant life-altering injury. The best course of action is to ensure you don’t have a severe injury as early as possible. Potentially serious injury can be a concern with the immediate onset of intense head or neck discomfort, weakness of the arms or legs, difficulty breathing, stomach tenderness or swelling, or loss of consciousness.
What many car accident injury victims don’t realize
Once a potentially serious or life-threatening accident injury has been ruled out by a properly performed emergency medical evaluation, you should focus on establishing care with a spine and joint injury specialist. A spine and joint specialist has the experience necessary to identify accident injuries and joint conditions that result from an auto injury accident. Many medical clinics offer evaluations and care but rarely have the depth of sub-specialist experience to diagnose and treat specific injuries of the neck, back, knees, shoulders, and other joints. Spine and joint injury musculoskeletal doctors train years beyond primary care doctors, general practitioners, and chiropractors. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer for weeks and even months before they are referred to advanced specialists to diagnose and treat problems within the spine.
Are you working with a spine and joint injury sub-specialist?
A few hints that you are NOT working with a spine and joint specialist:
- A thorough physical exam is not performed
- There is no evaluation of extremity strength
- Not much attention is given to neck symptoms
- They are overly concerned with which attorney represents you
- There is little discussion about your treatment options
- No patient education is provided during the visit
- The focus revolves around spinal adjustments
- You are given a generic, mass-produced, pre-made therapy schedule
- Frequent application of hot packs, braces, lasers, and nerve stimulation
- Blind injections or treatments (without the aid of X-ray or ultrasound)
- “All in one” clinics or “one-stop shops.”
- They only treat accident injury patients at their clinic
If you would like to speak with a spine and joint physician sub-specialist, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Our Board Certified musculoskeletal doctors deliver the most advanced surgery-free spine and joint treatments available in Oklahoma. We treat thousands of patients suffering a wide range of neck, back, knee, shoulder, and other joint problems every year.
We look forward to seeing how our unique spine and joint treatment expertise can help you with the symptoms you suffer from following your accident injury.