Sprains After a Slip and Fall
Sprain Injuries After a Slip and Fall in Indiana
Slip, trip, and falls can cause a variety of personal injuries. This includes sprains which are often considered to be mild injuries, although they really can be very serious injuries. In fact, severe sprains can keep a victim out of work for weeks or even months, accruing significant lost wages and medical bills. Some very serious sprains may result in joint instability and even require surgery. Thus, sprains after a slip and fall need to be taken seriously and handled by a reputable law firm like McKibben Shaw Law, call one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers in Indiana.
A victim of a slip and fall injury like a sprain may have to miss a lot of work while their injury heals, especially if their job involves standing, walking, or lifting. Call us today at (260) 909-8363 for your free consultation.
What is a Sprain?
Ligaments are the elastic tissues that connect bones to joints. Ligaments provide stability to joints by keeping them from bending too far in one direction or over-rotating. When something happens to overstretch a ligament, the joint becomes unstable. This means that the ligament can no longer provide support. The ligament can hyperextend (stretch) or it can tear. This is commonly referred to as a sprain. A sprain can happen anywhere in the body where a ligament connects the bones to a joint, such as the ankle, the hip, the wrist, or the shoulder.
Sprains are not the same as strains, but it is easy to see why people confuse the two. Sprains deal with ligaments. Sprains deal with muscles. When a muscle is sprained, it means that the muscle was stretched too far, or that it tore. Both strains and sprains can be quite painful.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a severe sprain and a fracture, so a medical professional will probably have to make that decision using an X-ray.
Causes of a Sprain
There are two causes of sprains, acute sprains and chronic sprains:
- Chronic sprains are the result of a repetitive movement, or from the overuse of a joint.
- Acute sprains happen from a direct impact or a forceful blow. They can also happen from overextending or twisting the ligament (for example, when the feet stay put but the knees twist too far after a fall).
Grades of a Sprain
Sprains are graded according to how severely the ligament is damaged. The joint will still be stable at a Grade I sprain, and although there is soreness, a microscope is needed to see any joint damage at this level.
At a Grade II the ligament will be partially torn, and the joint will be sore possibly unstable. Swelling and pain are moderate and can become disabling.
Grade III is the worst scenario, and the joint is definitely unstable because the ligament is completely torn. This often requires medical treatment.
Types of Sprains
- Spinal sprains including “text neck” (a forward neck posture), neck sprain, and whiplash
- Hand and wrist sprains include finger sprain, skier’s thumb, and wrist sprain
- Ankle sprains
- Knee sprains including ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL
Medical Treatments for a Sprain
Right after the injury, the patient should rest, elevate the injury, apply ice and compression. Mobilizing the area will help with swelling and avoiding putting any weight on the injury. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help with pain, inflammation and swelling.
Stronger pain medications may be described but that depends upon the severity of the injury. For severe sprains, surgical intervention may be necessary with regular follow ups to monitor the recovery process.
Prognosis for a Sprain After a Slip and Fall
A person’s rate of healing and the severity of the sprain will determine the speed of their healing and rehabilitation. Moderate sprains may heal in the range of three to six weeks. More severe sprains may take the ligaments up to a year to recover. Physiotherapy is helpful in avoiding weak muscles and stiff joints during recovery and thereafter.
How a Sprain Injury Can Affect Work
A victim of a slip and fall injury like a sprain may have to miss a lot of work while their injury heals, especially if their job involves standing, walking, or lifting. These kinds of employees should be certain that they are well enough to return to their former duties, otherwise they risk reinjuring themselves.
The ligaments may never be as strong as they once were. Therefore, employees may be advised to wear soft braces or bandages to support the injured area so they can avoid another sprain in that area.
Victims who have suffered a sprain after a slip and fall in Indiana may be entitled to damages for their injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Call the experienced slip and fall lawyers in Indiana at (260) 909-8363 or message us to learn how we can help protect your rights.
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