If you have been in a Missouri car accident and have injured a joint, you may be at risk of developing post traumatic arthritis, a painful and often debilitating disease of the joints.
What is post-traumatic arthritis?
We've all heard of arthritis.  Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint.  The joint may be swollen, painful and difficult to move.  Usually arthritis is caused by the wearing out of a joint surface over time.  This is why arthritis is more prevalent in the elderly than in younger people. However, post-traumatic arthritis can occur in people of all ages.
Post-traumatic arthritis occurs when the wearing out of a joint is accelerated because of some king of physical injury.  Causes of joint injury include motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, sports injuries or any other type of physical trauma. When injuries can damage the cartilage or bone, they change the  mechanics of the joint so it wears out more quickly.
More than 5.6 million people (12% of arthritis sufferers) in the United States suffer from post-traumatic arthritis.  
Post traumatic arthritis can affect the hips, knee, shoulder, ankle, or elbow.
What are the symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis?
The symptoms of post-traumatic arthritis are similar to the symptoms of osteoarthritis.  They include:
  • Chronic joint pain
  • Tenderness
  • Joint swelling
  • Accumulation of fluid in the joint
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty with activities that stress the joint
  • Bone spurs
Treatment of  post-traumatic arthritis 
Osteoarthritis is not reversible.  Treatment cannot cure of  post-traumatic arthritis; instead, medical treatment aims to alleviate discomfort and prevent worsening of the condition. Treatment for post-traumatic arthritis often includes weight loss, low impact exercise and strengthening of the muscles surrounding the joint.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are recommended to reduce swelling.  In some cases, arthritic joints are injected with cortisone or with an artificial joint fluid.   When pain relief stops working, surgery may be an option. Surgery can offer permanent relief by repairing, reconstructing or replacing the joint.
What is your risk?
If you have sustained a joint or bone injury in a Missouri car accident, our Kansas City auto accident lawyers suggest that you ask your doctor about your risk for post-traumatic arthritis.  Post-traumatic arthritis may not develop for years after your injury, but if you are at risk, you may be able to ask for damages in advance. 

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.