Can Soft Tissue Damage Be Permanent?

Published on Dec 8, 2023 at 11:55 pm in Personal Injury.

Can Soft Tissue Damage Be Permanent
After a sprain, tear, or strain to a muscle or ligament, we all hope that we’ll be back on our feet again soon. But unfortunately, without the right care, we are in danger of suffering long-lasting damage. Even a minor slip and fall or motor vehicle accident can cause tissue damage that upsets our lives for weeks, months, years, or even permanently.

Can soft tissue damage be permanent? In some situations, yes. Most healthy people can recover from soft tissue injuries. However, some people sustain life-long complications. Without the proper care, the likelihood of permanent damage increases.

Let’s start by looking at what constitutes a soft tissue injury and symptoms to watch for. Then, we’ll examine how it should be treated and what can cause soft tissue damage to become permanent. We’ll also discuss steps you can take to minimize the chances of your injury affecting you for the rest of your life.

Finally, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer here in Marion if your soft tissue injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. Whether your injury was the result of a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another type of injury event, we at Prince Law Firm can provide a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

What Is Considered a Soft Tissue Injury?

Soft tissue damage is an injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. They are usually categorized as:

  • Sprains (stretching or tearing of ligaments)
  • Strains (stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon)
  • Stress injuries (tendon damage caused over time)
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of bursae, the fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints)

Some of the most common soft tissue injuries include sprained ankles, torn hamstrings, back strain, and “tennis elbow,” or irritation of tissue in the forearm.

Soft tissue damage may be the result of overuse, or it may be caused by sudden, acute trauma. Athletes and those who regularly perform manual labor are more susceptible to the former type, while any person may be the victim of the latter.

Acute, sudden-onset soft tissue damage may be caused by:

  • A sports injury,
  • A slip or fall,
  • A motor vehicle or motorcycle accident,
  • A bicycle accident,
  • Improperly moving or stretching,
  • Physical labor, or
  • Other causes.

Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries

Depending on the type of soft tissue damage you suffered, you may experience extremely painful or mildly frustrating symptoms. The more severe your injury, the more painful your symptoms will be.

Some of the most common symptoms associated with sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries are:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Bruising
  • Cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Limited range of motion
  • Discomfort that worsens with movement

When Can a Soft Tissue Injury Be Permanent?

Most soft tissue injuries are not permanent. A mild to moderate injury is usually recoverable with rest and other treatments within a few weeks to a month or more. If the damage is more severe—especially when it requires medical intervention—the recovery period will be longer.

A tissue issue is more likely to be permanent when:

  • The injury is repeatedly aggravated without the chance to heal
  • Treatment instructions are not followed, especially for severe injuries that require surgery or other intervention

Most of the time, soft tissue damage only becomes permanent when the patient continues to use the muscle, tendon, or ligament as they normally would—injuring it over and over again without allowing time for recovery.

Additionally, older-aged individuals with more weakness and less elasticity in tissue usually require longer healing periods and are at higher risk of permanent damage.

Steps To Take To Help Soft Tissue Damage Heal More Effectively

The most important thing is to always follow your doctor’s orders.

If your physician recommends that you see a specialist, wear a brace, give up your normal exercises, take anti-inflammatory medications, or undergo surgery, take their expert medical advice—even if it puts a damper on your daily lifestyle. Missing a few games, runs, workouts, or days of work is much better than allowing your soft tissue damage to worsen.

After a soft tissue injury, your treating care team will usually recommend you follow the R.I.C.E. method for recovery:

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Compression
  4. Elevation

It’s a good idea to start these measures as soon as you realize you have sustained an injury like a sprain or muscle tear. Try to avoid heat, massage, and alcohol within the first 72 hours of a soft tissue injury, as these can increase blood flow to the damaged area and promote swelling.

If you notice any of these symptoms of a more serious injury, go to the hospital or your primary care physician’s office:

  • You heard a loud “pop” or “crack” noise when the injury happened
  • The bones near the injury are painful
  • You can’t walk or put weight on the injury site
  • You notice extreme swelling or an unusual shape at the injury site
  • You’ve lost feeling or are experiencing pins and needles around the point of injury

Getting immediate medical care is imperative if you observe any of these symptoms. The sooner you can begin treating a severe soft tissue like this, the better. If you allow these injuries to go untreated while trying to “push through” the pain, you may cause lasting damage.

Legal Options for Financial Recovery After Soft Tissue Damage

Your legal options after soft tissue damage depend on how the injury happened.

If you were playing basketball with friends and rolled your ankle accidentally through no one’s fault, you probably won’t be entitled to any kind of financial compensation for medical bills.

However, if you suffered an injury because a drunk driver hit your car, a negligent property owner failed to fix a broken stair, or an employer didn’t provide the protective gear you needed at work, you may be eligible to recover funds for your losses by filing an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, it may be your right to file a lawsuit against the party whose actions hurt you.

If you think you might have a legal claim for compensation for your soft tissue damage, don’t wait to contact a lawyer. We can tell you if you have a case and what you should do next. We’ll also be able to advise you of the statute of limitations that dictates how long you have to take legal action.

Contact Prince Law Firm today to set up your free case consultation with a real attorney.



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