The term for the injuries you sustain from impacts like falls or car crashes is orthopedic trauma. Orthopedic trauma isn’t always life-threatening, but it typically involves significant damage to the musculoskeletal system. If left untreated, your body may heal incorrectly and limit your mobility and strength. As with any disease, the sooner you can receive treatment, the better — hence the existence of trauma medicine.
Read on to learn more about this medical specialization!
The Origin Of Trauma Medicine
Trauma care has been around for a long time. However, it has only recently become a recognized medical specialization due to the increase of car crashes and similar incidents. The practice has grown, and many orthopedic clinics offer trauma medicine.
What Is A Trauma Medicine Doctor?
A trauma medicine doctor or orthopedic trauma doctor specializes in trauma medicine. Their goal is to provide the immediate emergency care a trauma patient needs to ensure their safe and healthy recovery. Some orthopedic trauma doctors can perform trauma surgery, especially for blunt-force injuries.
What Does Trauma Medicine Address?
Car crashes are one of the more common concerns that trauma medicine addresses. However, trauma medicine can apply to any trauma injury, not just accident-related ones. Trauma injuries can be the result of:
- Car crashes
- Overuse injuries
- Sports injuries
- Injuries from bone weakening diseases, like osteoporosis
- Assault or gunshot wounds
- Natural disasters
Due to the nature of these causes, you can typically find trauma medicine surgeons and doctors in emergency rooms and trauma centers.
Types of Trauma Medicine Treatments
Like any injury, orthopedic trauma has degrees of severity. First aid and conservative methods may be sufficient for minor cases, but more severe injuries require surgery.
Non-Surgical Trauma Medicine
Injuries that non-surgical trauma medicine can address are typically minor fractures, bone dislocations, or most injuries resulting from falls at home. Non-surgical treatments are usually braces, casts, or splints. These are external fixation methods, as they secure your broken bones from outside your body.
If your body is severely damaged, you will likely need surgery. Severe cases of fractures typically involve bones either breaking through the skin or having an injury in which the bones are visible. Trauma surgery applies if you are at risk of disability, permanent injury, or even death.
Some surgical treatments involve a more extreme version of fixation, referred to as internal fixation. Internal fixation means that a trauma surgeon will set and stabilize your broken bones with devices like wires, screws, or plates inside your body during surgery. In particularly severe cases, you may need additional treatment, such as bone grafting or limb lengthening.
Trauma surgery doesn’t just apply to broken bones — it also applies when you suffer severe trauma to your tissues. Severe damage can be the result of an assault, like stab or gunshot wounds. You might also receive severe tissue damage from debris penetrating your body during a car crash or natural disaster.
In this case, trauma surgeons will have to perform surgery to remove any foreign objects from your body. Once they’ve safely removed all of it, they will need to attempt to repair any damage to your internal organs. After that, they’ll clean, disinfect, and close any wounds you might have.
Recovery From Orthopedic Trauma Injuries
Trauma medicine doesn’t end with immediate treatment, as your body will still need time to heal. Your treatment will typically end with a recovery or rehabilitation period to ensure that your bones and tissues all heal correctly. This recovery period may take weeks or even months, depending on the location and severity of your injury. You may also experience some pain even after treatment. In some severe cases, you might not heal completely and will need long-term management.
If your bones don’t heal properly following treatment, you may need to return for surgical correction.
What To Expect From A Trauma Medicine Service
The first thing a trauma doctor will do is evaluate your injury and determine what body parts received damage, along with the severity of your injury. This diagnosis has to be done quickly, especially in the case of severe trauma.
In emergencies involving multiple people, a trauma doctor will have to perform a process called triage. In triage, a doctor will prioritize patients facing life-threatening injuries and need immediate treatment over patients with less severe injuries. Triage is a complex process designed to ensure that a doctor can save the lives of as many people as possible.
Trauma Medicine Services In Northeast Ohio
Trauma medicine treats all kinds of injuries to your musculoskeletal system — from severe injuries resulting from car crashes to minor ones due to sports. If you are looking for trauma medicine treatments, doctors at Orthopaedic Associates will do their utmost to ensure that you receive only the best service if you suffer any traumatic injury.
Orthopaedics Associates has provided Ohio with excellent orthopedic care for over 40 years. Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and physicians go above and beyond when it comes to orthopedic problems. On top of their expert treatment, our staff will ensure that your stay is as smooth and comfortable as possible.
To find out more, contact us at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. Alternatively, you can set up an appointment using our convenient and secure online form. We’re always ready to provide you with the care you need!