The human skeleton has 206 bones that protect vital organs, support our weight and allow us to move. Bones are subject to fractures from a variety of causes common to the workplace. Direct blows can cause the underlying bone to break. Indirect trauma, such as falling on an outstretched arm, can cause fractures of bones attached to the arm or chest. Even muscular contractions can be forceful enough to break bones under circumstances such as electrical shock. In addition to violent workplace accidents, bones subjected to repetitive stresses at work can deteriorate and fracture under certain circumstances. Most fractures resulting from industrial injuries are relatively simple, requiring only modest medical intervention, with fixation by splinting the normal treatment. Open fractures, also known as compound fractures, are very difficult injuries to manage. Usually surgery is required to align the bone and fix it in place with metal hardware. Infections involving compound fractures are common. The course of treatment is often very long and difficult.
Even when no bones are broken, damage to ligaments, tendons and joints are quite common industrial injuries. Knees, elbows and shoulders are often the involved joints. Treatment can be prolonged, especially when an insurer is reluctant to pay for medical expenses if the accident was not witnessed.
Fractures to the spine are one of the most serious bone injuries. Acute traumatic injury to the spinal cord can be a life-changing injury. Spinal injuries that compromise the spinal cord can lead to significant, permanent injury, involving paralysis or even death.
Injuries to the disks cushioning the spinal vertebrae are common industrial injuries that are often due to heavy lifting while twisting, falling from a height, motor vehicle accidents or overexertion attempting to move heavy equipment. Herniated disks can be very debilitating. Treatment usually starts with pharmaceuticals, physical therapy and sometimes cortisone injections. If these conservative treatments do not provide relief, surgery to immobilize adjacent vertebrae, known as a spinal fusion, can sometimes, but not always, provide pain relief.
If you have been the victim of an industrial injury that resulted in a herniated disk, fractured bone or other serious orthopedic injury, we offer a free consultation to discuss whether or not you are receiving all the compensation and treatment you deserve.