Soft tissue injuries most commonly refer to injuries of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, while the different types of soft tissue injuries are classified as sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as tendinitis and bursitis. These injuries often occur during sports and exercise activities, but sometimes simple everyday activities can cause them.

Here's a short description of soft tissue injuries:

  • A sprain is a partial tear to a ligament often caused by a wrench or twist. Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to bone. Sprains often affect the ligaments of ankles, knees, or wrists.
  • Strains are an injury to a muscle or tendon, and is often caused by overuse, force, or stretching. Tendons connect muscles to bones.
  • Contusions (bruise) are an injury to the soft tissue often produced by a blunt force, such as a kick, fall, or blow. The result will be pain, swelling, and discoloration because of bleeding into the tissue. Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon.
  • Tendonitis is often due to an overuse injury in the affected area from repetitive motion. Areas commonly affected include the elbow, hand, wrist, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Often the tendonitis is named for the sport or movement that triggers the inflammation, such as tennis or golfer's elbow, swimmer's shoulder, and jumper's knee.
  • Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between bones and muscles or tendons. Like tendonitis, bursitis is often caused by overuse injury, but can also be caused by direct trauma to a joint. Bursitis commonly affects the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip, ankle, and foot.

Soft tissue injuries also frequently occur as a result of a car or work-related accident.  Usual treatment consists of management through some combination of rest, ice, massage, medication, chiropractic and/or physical therapy. Surgery is not called for. The duration of soft tissue injuries varies generally from a few days to a few weeks, but are not permanent in nature.

Little Monetary Recovery for Soft Tissue Injuries

Due to the limited duration of soft tissue injuries (certainly some last longer than others), and limited, non-surgical medical treatment, the value of a soft tissue injury is also limited, in comparison with other types of injuries.  For this reason, many law firms will not accept soft tissue injury cases, especially if litigation is necessary, believing that their time and resources are better spent on potentially more lucrative cases. 

 Serious Long Term Personal Injury   

A basic principle underlying the law is evident here: 

The value of a case should be commensurate with the nature and extent of an injury as well as the certainty of liability.

Injuries requiring surgery and have a permanent impact should be, and are worth more than injuries with a more modest impact.