Knee injuries can be painful and life-changing. Before your car accident, you may have been able to walk, bend, drive, and go about your daily activities with little thought about whether you could stand, sit, or be pain-free.
Now, your whole life has changed because of your car accident knee injury. Whether your knee was smashed against the dashboard, twisted during the collision, or injured in some other way, the impact on your life may be immediate and long-lasting.
Five Types of Car Accident Knee Injuries
Every injury is unique. However, some common car accident knee injuries include:
You may break a bone in your knee during a car crash. If you fracture or break your knee, you may require a cast, and in some cases, you may require surgery.
If you bang your knee against the dashboard or door during the crash, your kneecap may dislocate. This can be painful, and it may require casting, surgery, and other treatment.
A meniscus tear occurs when the knee is forcefully twisted, and the cartilage between the thigh bone and the shin bone rips. This is a painful injury that can significantly impact your daily activities, and that may require surgery.
The ligaments in your knee may stretch or tear during a crash. The ligaments that can be affected include the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You may experience pain and instability if you stretch or tear any of these ligaments. Ligament tears may require surgery.
The patellar tendon connects your knee to your leg. A rupture of the patellar tendon is a medical emergency. It can prevent you from straightening your leg, and, even with treatment, it can result in a lasting disability.
It is important to see a doctor if you experience any pain, instability, inability to bear weight on your leg, inability to straighten your leg, swelling, stiffness, or discoloration.
Knee Injury Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will want you to describe your symptoms and he will perform a physical exam using diagnostic imaging tests, if necessary, to determine the type of knee injury you’ve suffered. Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment may include:
Typically this includes rest, ice, compression and elevation (“RICE”). If your doctor suggests RICE, it is important to follow your doctor’s direction and not go back to work or your daily activities before it is safe for you to do so.
Tears, broken bones, and other knee injuries may be treated with surgery. Surgery may be combined with other treatments such as RICE and physical therapy.
Whether or not you have surgery, physical therapy may be necessary to help you strengthen your knee and leg and to prevent ongoing problems.
Even with a prompt diagnosis and the right treatment, you may suffer from physical pain, lost time from work, and other damages.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if You’ve Suffered a Knee Injury
You deserve to make a fair legal recovery if someone else’s negligence caused your knee injury. You are already living with the pain and inconvenience that someone else’s negligence has caused you to suffer, but you shouldn’t also have to incur a financial loss.
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Louisville office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.