Can a Car Accident Cause Arthritis?

by William Mattar | July 6th, 2020

Can a Car Accident Cause ArthritisA car accident can cause a variety of injuries. From broken bones to head injuries, the list of possible injuries after a car crash is unending.  An injury often overlooked is arthritis. Being involved in a car accident may aggravate preexisting arthritis or cause acute post-traumatic arthritis. In cases where an accident causes or aggravates arthritis, it may take time for symptoms to develop.

What is Arthritis?

Simply put, arthritis is inflammation of a joint. This condition can affect multiple joints, with symptoms including pain, joint stiffness, and swelling.

What are the different types of Arthritis?

There are different types of arthritis that a person may develop following a car accident. Two types of arthritis that may be caused or aggravated by a car accident include post-traumatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis, which involves damage to cartilage in an injured joint, may result from trauma to the body sustained in the impact of a car crash. Damage to cartilage ranges from bruising to cartilage loss. When cartilage is damaged or lost, it rarely grows back, allowing scar tissue to form in its place. Scar tissue may interfere with movement in the joint and cause further damage.

Post-traumatic arthritis may also develop in joints where cartilage has not been damaged. For instance, if a bone fractures and heals out of place, this injury could lead to arthritis in the future.

Breaking a bone or tearing a ligament, both common car accident injuries, can lead to post-traumatic arthritis years after a car accident. Even if the immediate injury is fully healed and repaired, trauma to a joint increases the odds that arthritis could develop many years following the initial injury.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis may include:

  • Pain in the joint;
  • Swelling; and
  • Limited mobility.

Physical activity, such as playing sports, walking up or down stairs, and even walking can become extremely painful. Medication, low-impact physical activity, and strengthening exercises are some potential ways to treat post-traumatic arthritis. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.

If you have been in a car accident and injured a joint, you may want to ask your doctor about the chances of developing post-traumatic arthritis and precautions you can take to reduce your risk.  Without this knowledge, it may be hard to come to a fair settlement, as it can take time for this type of arthritis to develop, and in some cases, require surgery to repair.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, which is usually associated with aging, may be aggravated by experiencing trauma from a car accident. According to one study, The onset of rheumatoid arthritis following trauma, severe trauma to a joint can precipitate an ongoing inflammatory disorder, which may then lead to the spread of inflammation to other joints.

Hurt In A Car? Call William Mattar.

Despite how long it can take arthritis to set in, you may be entitled to certain benefits following your car accident, such as rehabilitation and medical expenses. At William Mattar law offices, our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you recover damages for pain and suffering resulting from post-traumatic arthritis. Contact our car accident attorneys to file a claim today.