When you first suffer from an injury, you focus on assessing damage and dealing with pain. As you start to recover, you may focus on when you can resume your everyday life. Fully recovering from an injury can take substantial time. That timeline lengthens if your tissues aren’t healing properly. A very common question we get is ” Are my tissues healing properly after my injury? “. Here we will discuss injury recovery and what you should expect.
What Should I Expect from Recovery?
Injury recovery has four main stages. These stages often overlap, so multiple parts of the recovery process occur at once.
Stage 1: Bleeding
Internal soft tissues bleed from an injury just like a cut to the skin causes bleeding. Since muscles receive a steady blood supply, muscle injuries tend to bleed more, causing larger, deeper bruising. Other tissues, like ligaments, don’t receive as much blood, so they tend to bleed and bruise less.
At the bleeding stage, a patient’s job is to rest and allow the bleeding to stop. Rest is particularly critical in the first hours after an injury.
Stage 2: Swelling
The area will begin to swell within one to two hours after an injury. Swelling and inflammation are part of the body’s healing response and serve to protect the injured area. While most swelling peaks within three days of an injury, it can persist for a few weeks as you recover.
Stage 3: Scar Tissue
The body starts developing scar tissue within one to two days of experiencing an injury, and this process continues for up to four to six months. Therefore, it’s essential to move and gradually incorporate pain-free, low-impact exercise at this time so your new scar tissue can build with strength and flexibility.
Stage 4: Remodeling or Maturation
The remodeling phase is the longest and final stage of wound recovery, beginning around three weeks after the injury and continuing for up to two years. At this time, collagen synthesis strengthens the surrounding tissue, and the fibers reorganize to reform the injured area.
An injury tends to result in tissues about 80% as strong as uninjured tissue.
How Long Should My Recovery Take?
The length of time an injury takes to heal depends on the injury’s severity, the patient’s age, the type of injury, and several other factors. The time frame for a specific injury to heal is broken out here:
- Broken Bones: Six weeks to three months
- Cartilage: Twelve weeks or longer
- Muscle Injury or Strains: A few weeks to six months
- Tendons: Four to six weeks
- Ligaments: Three weeks to eight months
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can help facilitate the healing process for specific injuries. Other options, for example, therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Peptides can also be used if you’re concerned about the length of time an injury takes to heal. If you are asking yourself ” Are my tissues healing properly after my injury” or you would like to learn more about the treatment options we have here at Stemedix, contact us today!