What is a soft tissue injury?

Typically, people with soft tissue injuries will present to the emergency room with complaints of stiffness, soreness, abrasions, lacerations or an achy feeling to the muscles. Often, emergency room doctors in St. Louis and the surrounding Missouri area will order an x-ray to rule out any broken bones. Typically, CT scans and MRIs are not ordered unless the doctor believes there may be internal bleeding or if the patient has immediate neurological symptoms such as radiating pain, numbness or tingling into the extremities. Sometimes, in our experience, car accident victims who do not have health insurance don’t get these tests even when they are warranted.

Often times, people involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, slip and fall, or other accident, will present in the emergency room with what seem to be soft tissue or musculature injuries, but develop increased pain and even neurologic symptoms in the following days. In these cases, the injury may be much more severe than first diagnosed by the emergency room doctor. In fact, if you read your discharge papers, the emergency room doctors warn of this possibility.

While insurance companies and defense lawyers like to downplay the seriousness of a soft tissue injury, we realize they can mask more serious injuries. If you develop neurologic symptoms following an accident, it is imperative you seek immediate medical attention from a specialist such as a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon.