The blunt force and trauma of a car accident poses various risks to your health. Objects might be thrown at you including pieces of the windshield, objects from outside the car, the steeling wheel, and other parts of the car itself. Also, the original skid, twist, or halt will surely put a lot of stress on your entire body.
We are experienced in handling car accident cases where victims suffer a wide range of harms, but we find that, over and over again, knee injuries are one of the most consistent types of injuries to emerge from the incident. These pages are designed to inform you about various symptoms and problems that your knee might develop following a car accident as well as provide you with resources to identify potential recovery in a lawsuit.
We wanted to provide you with a concise list of symptoms to look out for after a car accident; however, before that, review the anatomy of the knee illustrated in these diagrams:
After the crash, closely monitor your knees for these symptoms:
- Discoloration: The underlying bruise can cause the affected area to change in color, perhaps to a shade of red. If your situation develops and it actually becomes infected, then it might to start look more yellow or green than normal. Of course, if the knee or neighboring bones look abnormally placed, this is a stark sign that you were harmed and should see a doctor.
- Temperature variation: Just like any other injury or illness, your body will respond to your injured knee to try and heal it and that response might make the area feel more warn than usual; on the other hand, if the car accident produced a lack of circulation in your knee, then you might notice a colder feeling there.
- Reduced strength: The initial shock and subsequent injury that might develop in your knee will probably result in reduced strength. This is your body’s way of telling you that you are hurt and knee to recover
- Limited range of motion: You might find that you are not able to move in ways that you used to be able to prior to the accident. This is a serious sign that your knee might be significantly injured.
- Sensations: After a car accident, you might discover your knee hurts upon touch or manifests general tenderness or other sensations all on its own.
After a car accident, your knees might suffer any of the following injuries:
- Knee Fracture: Any bone fracture is a very significant injury but they are also very widely understood. They generally arise after an intense exertion or force is put upon it, like a car crash. These fractures are normally accompanied with bone deformities and discoloring, but you might also notice the knee sticking out of the skin itself! Normally, doctors will simply place the affected knee in a cast but they might recommend surgery if it cannot heal on its own. Also, in some instances, knee fractures might pose long-term issues such as arthritis.
- Knee Dislocation: Generally, bone dislocations occur when they are not in the places where they should be. For knee dislocations, this means that the leg bones (called the tibia/fibula) are not in their proper positions relative to the thigh bone (called the femur). Absent a very strong force (such as a direct hit to the dashboard in an accident), these are relatively rare; however, if untreated they can cause very serious problems and might even result in amputation if an arterial blockage cuts off the blood supply to the leg for too long.
- Knee Sprain/Strain: These occur in a car accident if you stretch, tear, or damage the ligaments, tendons, muscles, or joint capsule surrounding the knee. They are very common in automobile incidents and are assigned Grades from I to III based upon the seriousness of the sprain or strain. Grade I represents minimal pain; Grade II represents mild pain; Grade III represents serious pain.
- Torn Cartilage: If you are involved in a car accident, you might also experience torn cartilage around your knee. There are pads around it that act as shock absorbers and trauma to that area might create a tear in their connective structure. They are commonly found when you also sprain or strain your knee. While time and rest ordinarily heal these up, you may need surgery in certain instances to correct the tear.
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury: Following an automobile accident, you might find that your ACL has been torn or damaged. This is the ligament that runs across the knee to give it stabilization and strength. Any damage to it is serious and requires immediate medical attention. Following an ACL injury, you might find that you cannot even walk or exert any strength on that leg at all. Surgery to correct ACL tears or sprains is not uncommon and ongoing medical treatment is vital.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injury: While running across the ACL, the PCL is actually considered to be a much stronger ligament. It provides support and acts as a brake against certain kinds of movements. However, due to its strength, it requires great shock or trauma to seriously injure or tear it, and, therefore, normally does not present a problem until after significant pressure has been applied for an extended period of time.
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury: While very common injuries in sports, MCL problems also arise frequently in car accidents. In fact, they are the most commonly affected knee ligaments. If you have a MCL tear or sprain, you might experience a tingling sensation running along the inside part of your knee. These might require surgery and extended medical care as well.
Here are some resources to help you understand what recovery might be possible if you have a knee injury following a car accident: