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Why You Should See a Doctor After a Fall

March 18, 2024

Why You Should See a Doctor After a Fall

Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common types of accidents affecting people across the country, resulting in thousands of injuries every day, some more serious than others. In some cases, slip and fall victims suffer obvious injuries, such as broken bones or open wounds, but many others don’t see any signs of apparent injury after a fall and therefore assume they don’t need medical attention. No matter how minor the fall may seem, you should always see a doctor after a falling accident, whether you fall at work, slip on the ice in a store parking lot or trip on a crack in the sidewalk. Many slip and fall accidents result in hidden injuries, such as concussions, sprains or soft tissue damage, which may not become evident until days or even weeks after the accident. Seeking medical attention right away after a fall can reduce your risk of experiencing long-lasting injury, chronic pain or even death. 

Injuries Resulting from a Falling Accident

There are any number of injuries that can occur as a result of a falling accident, depending on the type and severity of the fall. The following are some of the more common injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident:

  • Head injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Hip fractures
  • Knee injuries
  • Sprains and fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lacerations
  • Soft tissue damage

Knee injuries from falling can include sprains, strains or other injuries affecting the ligaments and tendons that connect and support the kneecap, ACL or MCL tears, dislocation of the kneecap, or breaks of the kneecap, the lower portion of the femur or the upper portion of the tibia or fibula, among other knee injuries. Shoulder injuries from falling can include injuries to the ligaments that stabilize the shoulder joints, pulled muscles, nerve injuries, fractures, dislocation of the shoulder joints or a torn rotator cuff.

Symptoms of a Potential Fall Injury

Even if you suffer a minor injury in a fall, you could end up experiencing chronic pain that could keep you out of work and decrease your quality of life, not to mention potentially leave you with costly medical bills that are compounded by an unexpected loss of income. And the longer you wait to see a doctor, the less likely you are to make a fast, full recovery from your injuries. The following are some red flags that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, whether you hit your head in a falling accident or sustain a potential injury to another body part:

  • Severe or lingering pain
  • Headaches
  • Obvious swelling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bruising
  • Loss of balance
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Stomach pain

If you have a primary care physician that you see regularly, schedule an appointment so he or she can determine whether medical treatment is required. If necessary, your doctor can refer you to a specialist for further treatment.

Fall-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fall-related injuries result in 2.8 million hospital visits every year in the United States. Among those, 800,000 fall victims are hospitalized and more than 27,000 die as a result of their injuries. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and this type of accident is particularly dangerous for older adults. If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, no matter how sure you are that you weren’t injured in the fall, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can and get cleared by your doctor. 

If you’ve experienced a recent fall reach out to BASS Primary Care in Walnut Creek today.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.