Even the most seemingly insignificant car accidents can result in injuries.
A fender bender that barely dents your bumper can still result in whiplash or a sore back for the driver.
Serious car accidents can have serious, and unfortunately, fatal injuries.
When we think of car accident injuries, there are probably several different injuries that pop into your head.
Head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and various scratches, scrapes, bumps, and bruises are what most people envision when they think of car accidents.
One common injury that a lot of people never think about is a knee injury.
Our knees are very susceptible to injury during a car accident, and sometimes recovery can take months to get your knee back to 100%.
Related post: odd and interesting car accident facts.
In the article below, we will take a look at a few common knee injuries that can occur during car accidents.
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Car accident victims can sustain three different types of fractures when they are involved in a car accident.
They can get a stable fracture, a displaced fracture, or a comminuted fracture.
Any of these thee fractures can happen in the knee.
The stable fracture is the least damaging of the three, and a comminuted fracture causes the most damage as the bone shatters into at least three pieces.
There are several treatments doctors can use to treat fractures of the knee.
The treatment they choose will largely depend on the type of fracture you sustain.
Treatments can include:
- An immobilizing brace or cast
- Rest until it's healed
- Physical Therapy
Fractures to the knee cap often require several months to heal, and can sometimes lead to arthritis and similar painful conditions.
Symptoms of a kneecap fracture will likely include pain, bruising, and swelling.
It will also be difficult to straighten your leg or put any weight on it.
Ligament sprains are very common among athletes, and they are almost as common in car accident victims.
A ligament sprain occurs when the ligament suffers any stretching or tears.
Your knee is made up of four ligaments that can suffer a sprain in a car accident.
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
Doctors measure ligament damage by how badly the ligament was damaged.
A grade 1 sprain is a slight stretching of the ligament, a grade 3 sprain is a partial tear of the ligament, and a grade 3 sprain is a complete tear of the ligament.
Everyone that strains a ligament in their knee is likely to have trouble walking due to the instability of it and the pain.
Other symptoms you're likely to notice are:
- Limited movement
- Extreme tenderness
The RICE method, or rest, ice, compression, and elevation, is often recommended for immediate treatment.
Some tears will require surgery, and it could take them a year to heal before you can return to normal activities.
Doctors also recommend physical therapy for the knee, whether or not the injury requires surgery.
When the kneecap dislocates it typically slides to the outside of the leg.
The injury is usually obvious just by looking at it, but other symptoms of a knee dislocation are:
- The inability to straighten the leg
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the knee
As long as the dislocation didn't damage the kneecap, it can heal within a few weeks just by using an immobilizing cast or brace.
Physical therapy will follow to strengthen the leg and recover the range of motion.
If the dislocation does damage the kneecap, surgery could be necessary.
Doctors may also recommend surgery if the more conservative treatments don't work and the kneecap remains unstable.
Ruptured Patellar Tendons
Your patellar tendon attaches the kneecap to the shinbone.
When it ruptures, it tears away from one of those connection points, making you unable to straighten your leg.
The many symptoms of a ruptured patellar tendon are:
- An indentation below the kneecap
- Kneecap moving from its normal position
- Difficulty straightening the leg or walking
A ruptured patellar tendon is a severe injury.
It causes disability and almost always requires surgery and extensive rehab and physical therapy.
Surgery is performed as soon as possible because early surgical intervention typically helps to ensure a better outcome with fewer lasting effects.
Advanced Injury Care Clinic
If you suffer a knee injury during a car accident, it could turn your life upside down.
It can affect you physically, financially, and emotionally.
Knee injuries often lead to substantial medical bills, along with lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
They can also cause considerable pain and suffering.
If you've suffered a knee injury in a car accident, you need to act fast so you can begin your recovery.
The team at Advanced Injury Care can help you get on the path to recovery as quickly as possible.
They help their patients recover both physically and financially.
To see what they can do for you, click the button below.