As you reach up to put away your dishes, your foot slips and you tumble to the ground. You notice that you can’t put weight on your ankle without excruciating pain!
Don’t be too hard on yourself because personal injury accidents are more common than you think. In the United States, 39.5 million Americans visited their physician’s office for personal injury accidents and an extra 29.2 million need to go to the emergency room!
When you go see a doctor about your injury, there are a few important questions to ask your doctor before you leave. Keep reading to learn which questions to ask and why you need to know the answers.
1. What Are Your Injuries?
This sounds like something your doctor should tell you already, but some doctors don’t go into great detail or lump together a group of related injuries.
Asking the doctor to describe the injury or injuries is a cue to the doctor that you are 100% invested in your healing process. If they know that you care about your health and healing, they are more likely to go into detail.
2. How Did the Injury (Or Injuries) Happen?
You can’t fix your injury by knowing what you did, but you could learn how to avoid a repeat injury. The cause of the injury is not always what you would think.
Often patients learn that they had a previous injury that has flared up again or that overcompensating for a different injury could have caused the current injury.
Once you know how the injury happened, it is much easier to avoid those behaviors, thus preventing injuring yourself again after you heal.
3. What Is the Plan for Your Treatment?
One of the most important things to do for your injuries to heal is to know your treatment plan—and to stick to it! If you don’t understand any parts of the treatment plan, the doctor can explain it to you while you are in the office.
Your doctor may prescribe one of these products to immobilize your injured limb and help speed up the healing time. Be sure to shop around for the best deal on braces, walkers, or whatever else you need to heal.
No matter what, stick to your treatment plan as the doctor describes it. Doing this will ensure your injuries heal the right way and as fast as possible.
4. How Long Will You Be in Pain?
No one likes to be in pain. It sucks and can even get in the way of you living a normal life. But most injuries hurt while they are healing, so it isn’t a bad omen.
It is important to know how long you should expect the pain to last. Some injuries take longer to heal and will hurt for a longer period of time. Your doctor will be able to give you an estimate of when the pain will subside.
If the pain lasts longer than your doctor believed, you should give them a call. They may want you to come back in to make sure you’re healing is going as expected.
5. Ask Your Doctor If/When You Will Be Able to Return to Work
If your injury is severe, you may have to take time off to recover. Most jobs won’t penalize you for that, but they will want to know when you will resume your duties.
In the worst-case scenario, your injury could disable you for the rest of your life. If that is the case, you will want to start making plans for the future considering your loss of function.
Either way, it is important for you to know if you will be able to go back to work and how long it will take for you to heal enough for that. You don’t want to go into bankruptcy over an accidental injury!
6. Is There Anything Else You Can Do?
Asking this question is a good way to identify any other tips or suggestions the doctor may have to speed up your healing process. Doctors are human too, and it is a good idea to ask if there is anything else they know about that might help.
Some doctors are not 100% certain about your prognosis (or even what the exact problem is). They may ask you to seek a second opinion or refer you to a specialist for confirmation testing.
7. What Are All the Possible Long-Term Outcomes?
The human body works in complicated ways, and the prognosis for an injury is not black and white either. There’s often a range of potential outcomes and paths on the way to healing your injury.
Some doctors will only share their suspected prognosis with you but never go over the other potential outcomes you might face. Asking them to clarify if their prognosis is certain or uncertain will prompt them to explain more about your unique situation.
Be sure to ask about the near and distant future expectations so you get a full understanding of how this injury will affect your life right now as well as years into the future.
Accidents Happen, but Good Health Is Not One of Them
No one is perfect, and accidents happen all the time! Most injuries will heal over time, but some injuries last a lifetime.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned some important questions to ask your doctor when you have a personal injury accident. If you aren’t satisfied with the way your doctor responds to your questions, you might want a second opinion.
Medical technology and procedures change all the time. If you are looking for the most up to date medical news and information, check out the rest of our blogs today!