Some people will head to the hospital when they feel the slightest itch, while others need to have their head hanging off their body before they decide to go. Many people dislike doctors and hospitals, while others simply underestimate the severity of their injury. In order to offer some perspective on the matter, we’re going to look at what happens when various injuries go untreated.
Pain, swelling, and bruising are some of the most common symptoms of a fracture, but these can be easily confused as nothing more than a bad bruise. If the affected area is protruding at an abnormal angle, or is particularly sensitive to weight, this indicates that it is probably a fracture.
If untreated, the pain experienced from a fracture will likely worsen as time goes on. The main risk of an untreated fracture, however, is improper healing. This can result in visible deformities, misalignment, limited movement, and infection. There is also a risk that the fracture may leave shrapnel-like fragments in the area, which can cause damage to the surrounding muscles, nerves, and ligaments, and may also lead to infection.
A concussion occurs when a serious blow to the head causes the brain to move around inside the skull. Concussions can have very serious and long-lasting consequences, so it is recommended that any serious head injury is followed up by a visit to the doctor.
If a person sustains a blow to the head, the most common symptoms of a concussion include loss of consciousness, nausea, dizziness, difficulty balancing, vomiting, headaches, confusion, sensitivity to light, and sleepiness.
If a concussion is left untreated, many of these symptoms will persist. Sensitivity to light, sore eyes, and blurry vision are all common, as are headaches, fatigue, and interrupted sleep, which could lead to emotional and cognitive issues. Some of the more serious consequences of an untreated concussion include the development of epilepsy and depression.
Most of us will experience minor tissue damage, such as inflammation or small tears, at many points throughout our lives. While these are often not too serious, and can be treated at home with rest and ice, some tissue damage can go on to have more serious consequences.
Damage to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the ligament at the front of the knee, is a prime example. Because of the amount of time our knees spend moving our legs back and forth, a small tear here can grow and become more serious over time. Not only will this cause pain, but it will make us less stable overall. To counteract the weakness in your knee, you may start to walk different and put more pressure than usual on certain bones, which will then become weaker as a result, and even lead to osteoarthritis, where the joint cartilage becomes worn down. This means that failure to identify a small problem early on could result in a fully-fledged disability further down the road.
While you shouldn’t be afraid of every ache and pain you ever feel in your body, you should take note of pain that comes on suddenly, and persists. If a few days’ rest doesn’t seem to do any good, a trip to the doctor could save you from a lot of pain and permanent damage later on.