Serious orthopedic injuries can cause PTSD, depression and more

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2023 | Wrongful Death

You’re likely aware that it’s possible to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a violent crime that causes injuries and even a car crash. Did you know researchers have found that any acute orthopedic injury, like a broken bone or torn ligament, can cause PTSD and other mental health issues?

Results of over two dozen studies published in 2017 showed that over 25% of the 7,000+ subjects who had suffered an acute orthopedic injury experienced PTSD. Almost a third suffered from depression.

These mental health issues are too often overlooked. As one orthopedic 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.”

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), while long-term psychological effects of a traumatic injury aren’t common, they can occur. These include panic disorder in addition to PTSD and depression.

Mental health issues can delay physical recovery

Doctors agree that a patient’s mental well-being can’t be separated from their physical recovery. That’s why it’s important not to overlook feelings of fear, anxiety, hopelessness and sadness that don’t dissipate if you or a loved one has suffered a serious orthopedic injury.

These can result if someone seriously feared for their life at the time of the injury, they saw their own arm or leg mangled or maybe they were temporarily paralyzed. Sometimes, a person’s history with other traumatic events can make them more prone to suffering PTSD or another mental issue after an injury. Having a long recovery period where your activity is seriously limited can certainly affect a person’s mental health.

Just as medical care and physical therapy are necessary for the body to heal and recover, mental health treatment may be necessary for the brain to deal with what it’s experienced. If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you can and should factor in the cost of that treatment into the compensation you’re seeking. That’s just one reason why you shouldn’t rush to settle any claims, and you shouldn’t do so without legal guidance.

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