There you are, minding your own business, proceeding safely through the intersection…and BAM! The next thing you know, you just got slammed by some driver blowing through a red light at a speed that some NASCAR drivers would envy. You are shaken up, and not sure if you or your passengers are hurt. The first thing you do is check to see if everyone is all right. The only problem is, many auto accident injuries such as whiplash, back injuries, and even closed head injuries caused by the sudden deceleration (slamming your brain into your skull), do not always show up right away. How do you know if you are injured? Which diagnostic scans should you get after a car accident?
Everything really depends upon what the doctor recommends, based on an exam and your particular situation. Automobile accidents can easily cause hidden damage and micro-injuries that are not always immediately apparent. Therefore, when you are involved in an auto accident, you should always get checked out by medical experts. They can properly diagnose and treat any injuries you may have, using the appropriate diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI’s, ultrasound, and CT scans.
The Most Common Diagnostic Scans After a Car Accident
Generally speaking, most doctors are likely to order at least an X-ray to check for any hidden fractures or other damage. X-rays are relatively inexpensive and can convey a lot of information very quickly to your doctor. You can think of X-rays as a good place to start. An X-ray can help rule out things such as broken bones, dislocated joints, bone fragments, and some other internal injuries.
For a more in-depth look however, the doctor is likely to order more advanced imaging procedures, such as a CT (computed tomography), or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) which can detect herniated discs, torn tendons, muscle tears, cartilage damage, organ injuries, and more detailed soft tissue damages that do not show up as well on an X-ray. Your doctor can also advise you about any warning signs and symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for.
Here is a list of symptoms to be aware of and report to your doctor following a car accident:
- Clouded thinking
- Blurry vision
- Fatigue, or sleeping more or less than usual
- Pain and stiffness
- Neck and back pain
- Swelling and or bruising
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Any other worrisome symptom that causes you concern
When it comes to accidents, it is better to be safe than sorry. And, while it may be true that “accidents happen,” getting checked out afterwards just makes sense. If you are concerned about the after effects of an accident, or need exceptional care from one of our board-certified radiologists in the Wellington, Belle Glade, Lake Worth or Royal Palm Beach areas, please call (561) 795-5558, or request an appointment online today. At Independent Imaging, the big picture is your overall health and well being.