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Post-Traumatic Arthritis Lawyer

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An injury of the joint, whether that involves or does not involve a disrupted articular surface, often leads to the development of acute post-traumatic arthritis (PTA). This is a severe and debilitating condition that occurs through a progressive process at any age. The development of this chronic disease generally occurs through trauma to the joints. Predisposition to the development of chronic inflammatory arthritis (PTIA) or post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) may occur in the initial phase after trauma from inflammatory events like those involving the increased release of inflammatory cytokines. Unlike other forms of arthritis, PTA is more common in the younger population, including children, compared to older adults.

Did you develop post-traumatic arthritis after getting injured in an accident? Our personal injury lawyers in California can help you seek fair compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and other losses. Call now for free, friendly advice on your PTA case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

After an unexpected accident in California, few things will be as stressful as seeking fair compensation for resulting damages. In such situations, the unfortunate reality is that insurers do not have the best interests of injured parties at heart. It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to take advantage of injured parties and their situations by reducing the amount they pay on personal injury claims or outright denying them. You can rest assured that your case will be in good hands by retaining legal counsel. This will give you the time to focus on getting better and rebuilding your life while your attorney will handle all aspects of your case from start to finish. Contact AutoAccident.com today for a free case evaluation with one of our skilled and compassionate lawyers.

What are the Common Causes of Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

The development of PTA generally occurs after trauma to a joint. This may happen because of a motor vehicle collision, a slip and fall accident, and an injury from a sports-related activity. This chronic disease may develop after many injuries, including damage to the tendon or muscle, cartilage injuries, and bone fractures.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

The symptoms of PTA may include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Stiffness
  • Synovial effusion
  • Sensitivity or tenderness to touch

Recovery from PTA generally occurs within two or three months. However, immediate medical attention should be sought if symptoms continue to persist past this period. This condition may be considered pathological and a chronic form of post-traumatic arthritis in a clinical setting.

How is Post-Traumatic Arthritis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of post-traumatic arthritis will generally start with the patient's medical history. This is of utmost importance because the physician will have to determine whether the condition may have possibly developed from an accident-related injury. A physical examination will also be performed by manipulating the affected joint and evaluating it for signs of pain or other PTA symptoms. From there, the physician will proceed with ordering imaging tests. These may include:

  • Computed Tomography (CT): Unlike an X-ray, soft tissue shows up on a CT scan and will display any damage to articular cartilage. CT scans are utilized to rule out other sources of pain, like damage to the muscle, tendon, or ligament.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): As a CT scan, an MRI will show soft tissue and articular cartilage damage. An MRI allows the evaluation of lesions in bone marrow in addition to the degeneration and delamination of articular cartilage.
  • X-rays: The presence of post-traumatic osteoarthritis may be indicated on an X-ray from bone spurs. These frequently result from bone-to-bone contact, and these are also helpful in ruling out other causes of joint pain like broken bones.

Aside from imaging tests, a physician may also order a blood test to determine whether an inflammatory source is causing pain to the affected joint, like rheumatoid arthritis.

What Treatments are Available for Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

While there are no approved treatments for acute post-traumatic arthritis and the prevention of the onset of this debilitating and chronic disease, there are other options for symptom management. Current treatments include lifestyle changes, low-impact exercise, and anti-inflammatory drugs such as non-articular cortisone injections or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The development of chronic PTA in the affected area may occur if the patient does not benefit from the regularly used agent. The therapy is the same for the idiopathic forms of this chronic disease. Surgical management may be necessary if the patient does not seek relief from any of these treatments.

What Surgical Treatments are Available for Post-Traumatic Arthritis?

In cases of chronic PTA, a patient may require surgery if their symptoms are so severe that they experience limitations on their quality of life. A physician will generally order a computed tomography (CT) scan to determine the extent of damage to the affected joint. The CT scan will also provide the surgeon with a more detailed image of the bones and tissue that surrounds them in comparison to an X-ray. Surgical intervention is often recommended in PTA cases where the patient is not responding to other treatments and still reports experiences of severe pain after several months. Some of the surgeries recommended for this chronic disease may include:

  • Arthrodesis (Joint Fusion): Arthrodesis involves the removal of the arthritic surface and the fusion of the bones on each side of the affected joint. The purpose of joint fusion is to correct the deformities that may have a considerable interference with function and pain relief. Joint fusion is generally reserved for those PTA cases at late stages.
  • Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement): If there is a substantial impediment to the deteriorated joint or the source of chronic pain is from the damaged joint, a surgeon may consider joint reconstruction. The purpose of arthroplasty is to remove the surface of the degenerated joint to eliminate the pain source and restriction of motion from the irregular and rough contact between the bones. Once this has been removed, it may be replaced with a joint replacement implant.
  • Debridement: Arthroscopic debridement refers to the cleansing of the joints and is considered a less invasive surgery. It is generally recommended in the early stages of PTA. This surgical procedure is performed to remove bone spurs, loose cartilage, and tissue with inflammation that impede the function of the deteriorated joint.

Surgical management may provide a PTA patient with lasting improvement and is generally recommended for those with active lifestyles. The type of surgery performed will depend on the specific joint involved and the patient's needs. The surgeon will determine which surgical procedure is most appropriate for the patient and their condition.

Can You Be Compensated for Post-Traumatic Arthritis from an Accident?

People injured in accidents through no fault of their own will not understand the true extent of their traumatic injuries and how they will be affected by them in the future. It is essential to seek treatment immediately following a crash, follow orders from providers, and keep up with medical appointments. These will all have a considerable role in maximum medical improvement from accident-related injuries and in the personal injury claims process. Some of the recoverable economic and non-economic damages in these cases include:

  • Medical Expenses: Various treatments and medications are utilized to manage symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis. Conversely, the chronic disease may also require surgery if the patient has not yet sought relief from non-surgical management. All these medical treatments may add up quickly. Fortunately, any reasonable and necessary costs of past and future medical care may be recoverable. Remember that expert witness testimony may be required for injury cases involving damages for future medical treatment. An accident attorney with the resources to work with experts in the field will determine the fair and reasonable value of past and future medical expenses from PTA.
  • Lost Wages: Given that post-traumatic arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition, it is without a doubt that it may significantly interfere with an individual and their ability to work. In some cases, they may miss time at work, return to work but in a different career that accommodates their condition or even be permanently unable to work in severe PTA cases. An individual who has experienced lost earnings or a loss of future earning potential from this chronic disease that developed after accident-related injuries may be entitled to compensation for those losses. Like medical expenses, testimony from expert witnesses such as an economist may be necessary to prove the need and value of lost wages and loss of future earnings.
  • Pain and Suffering: Emotional suffering and physical pain may occur from the development of post-traumatic arthritis after an accident resulting in serious injuries. Medical documentation from expert witnesses is essential in providing persuasive and compelling testimonies to an insurance company and a jury or a judge. These will help explain how pain and suffering from PTA have impacted all aspects of an injured party's life. Establishing the effects of physical pain and emotional suffering from the development of this chronic disease may help others understand the consequences the accident has had on the injured individual because of the at-fault party's negligence.

Proving that the development of PTA was the result of injuries from an accident caused by another party or entity will require the assistance of an experienced post-traumatic arthritis lawyer. When you need legal counsel to help you seek the financial compensation you need to put this life-changing event behind you, our injury attorneys at AutoAccident.com will be there to provide assistance. Learn more about us and what we can do for you and your case by watching this video.

Contact a Post-Traumatic Arthritis Attorney Today

Ed Smith is a personal injury lawyer in California and the founder of AutoAccident.com. Attorney Ed Smith and his legal team understand the devastating consequences that an accident-related injury, such as post-traumatic arthritis, may have on individuals and their loved ones. That is why they are committed to doing everything to ensure that their clients are fairly compensated for their injuries and losses. Unlike the insurance company and defense counsel, you can depend on this personal injury law firm to protect your rights and best interests. See how they have resolved cases on behalf of past clients by visiting their Settlements and Verdicts page.

If you developed post-traumatic arthritis after getting injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact the legal team at AutoAccident.com today to schedule a meeting for free, friendly case advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You never have to worry about upfront fees for legal representation because the post-traumatic arthritis lawyers at this law firm work on a contingency fee basis. This means that attorney's fees will only be due at the successful resolution of the case. Therefore, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain when you work with the accident attorneys at this law firm. You have a limited amount of time to take legal action, so do not delay learning about your rights and legal options for recovery today.

Photo Attribution: "KarolinaGrabowska" on Pexels

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