Common Joint Injuries in a Car Accident
Car crashes remain the leading cause of joint injuries among adults and children. The forceful impact in car wrecks can cause a hyperextended joint injury and broken bones.
In addition to joint damage, other injuries can occur when ligaments, tendons, and muscles are stretched beyond their limit, requiring immediate medical attention to prevent further joint injuries.
Unfortunately, the spinal column in the human body cannot sustain a direct heavy blow that an accident can cause. The joint injury resulting from a car accident could result in a permanent disability.
The hips can suffer significant joint damage in an auto accident. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that is responsible for a great deal of the body's mobility. When the hip joint is struck forcefully, it can result in a dislocation.
Hip dislocations are more common in older adults, who might have reduced bone density and muscle strength. A dislocated hip can cause common symptoms like intense pain, immobility, and long-term damage to the joint.
Surgery is often required to correct the dislocation and might involve repairing damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
Shoulder Injuries Caused by a Car Accident
The shoulder joint is a complex ball-and-socket joint that is responsible for a wide range of arm movements. The shoulder can be dislocated in any direction, but most dislocations occur when the arm is abducted (lifted out to the side).
Shoulder dislocations are often severe injuries more common in younger adults and children, who have more flexible ligaments and muscles. Drivers injured in car crashes usually suffer a shoulder joint injury by tightly grabbing the steering wheel during the auto accident.
A dislocated shoulder can cause intense pain, immobility, and long-term damage to the joint. Typically, the injury will require surgery to correct the dislocation and might involve repairing damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
The knee is a hinge joint that is responsible for bending and straightening the leg. Knee injuries can occur in numerous ways, but a dislocation of the kneecap or torn cartilage is a common joint injury in vehicle accidents.
A dislocated knee cap can cause extreme pain, immobility, and long-term damage to the joint. Surgery is often required to correct the dislocation and might involve repairing damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscles, including the anterior cruciate ligament.
With them knee is not severely damage, the medical professional may choose to treat the area with steroid injections or and an ongoing course of pain medication.
The ankle is a hinge joint that is responsible for bending and straightening the foot. The ankle can be injured in a number of ways, but a common joint injury in car accidents is a dislocation of the ankle.
A dislocated ankle can cause intense pain, immobility, and long-term damage to the joint. Surgery is often required to correct the dislocation and might involve repairing damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
The elbow is a hinge joint that is responsible for bending and straightening the arm. The elbow can be injured in a number of ways, but a common injury in car accidents is a dislocation of the elbow.
A dislocated elbow can cause intense pain, immobility, and long-term damage to the joint. Surgery is often required to correct the dislocation and might involve repairing damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
Have you suffered a joint injury in a car accident, and have difficulty moving your arm, hand, leg, or foot? If so, contact our experienced Chicago auto injury lawyers for a free consultation. Our law firm will help you obtain the medical care you need and fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
Types of Joint Dislocations Suffered in Auto Accidents
When incredible forces in a vehicle accident impact joints and bones, the results can include car wreck injuries involving broken bones or dislocations. Joint dislocations occur when bones remain intact, but are popped out of the socket, so they move freely.
Shoulder and finger dislocations are most common, but other joints can be dislocated during car, truck, and motorcycle accidents as well. The elbows,knees, andhips are at the highest risk of injury and complications that include:
- Immediate loss of mobility of the affected limb– Joint injuries resulting in intense pain of the affected area lead to immobility of movement until the bone is placed back into position.
- Damage to blood vessels and nerves. Shoulder and hip dislocations can cause damage to vital nerves. The damage can cause permanent mobility loss if the nerves are severed, or blood flow is cut off to the surrounding muscles and tissue.
- Torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons– When the bone is dislocated from its joint, it can result in essential muscles and tendons' hyperextension. When these tissues are stretched too far, they can tear. Placing the bone back into place is a simple process while repairing the damaged ligaments and tendons might be more complicated.
Surgical intervention might be required to ensure that these muscles heal correctly. Afterward, the injured person might experience discomfort and limited mobility for a long time following the accident.
- Increased risk of future injuries to the joint– Dislocated joints are susceptible to injury and future dislocations and shoulder rotator cuff tear is the defect of the anterior cruciate ligament. Minor injuries can pop the joint back out of place or increase the risk that the muscles supporting the joint experience strain.
- Early-onset arthritis in the affected joint– Many people who have experienced dislocations report arthritis development at an early age involving the affected joint. Early-onset arthritis could cause additional damage to the joint and severe pain and discomfort as the arthritic condition worsens.
Our Chicago auto crash lawyers will help you overcome the challenges you face during your recovery by ensuring you receive care from specialists who offer long-term treatment strategies.
Many complications associated with dislocation are due to secondary injuries rather than the dislocated joint. Our law firm will work to prove secondary car accident injuries that could help build a solid financial recovery case to obtain maximum compensation for all damages the accident caused.
Treatment for Dislocated Joints
Most shoulder dislocations can be treated by placing the bones back into place and managing the painful aching. Recovery usually takes several weeks for the injury to heal. During that time, the injured joint might be immobilized deliberately to prevent any further injuries from occurring.
Immobilizing the joint can also keep it from popping back out of place. Rehabilitative therapy is usually prescribed to ease the joint back into regular use and to restore normal strength. If there is serious damage to nerves, blood vessels, and muscle tissue, an alternative treatment plan will be developed to ensure full recovery when possible.
Many people undergo physical therapy, medical treatment, and surgical procedures for joint dislocations when they have a limited range of motion, shoulder injury, dislocated shoulder, or ball-and-socket joint swelling.
A diagnostician might evaluate the patient using x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to diagnose or rule out whiplash, sprains, soft tissue damage, femur break, or damage to the acetabulum.
Orthopedic surgery might be required if the joint cannot be put back into place by conventional means and if the tendons and ligaments are damaged. A severely damaged joint and nerve injury might warrant surgical intervention to restore blood flow to the surrounding tissue and improve mobility.
These procedures are often costly, and insurance companies might attempt to decline to pay for them.
Car Accident Joint Dislocation FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that many car accident victims have unanswered questions about receiving compensation for serious joint injuries caused by someone else's negligence. An experienced attorney has answered some of those questions below.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for additional information or schedule a free consultation.
How Long Does It Take for a Dislocated Joint to Heal?
A dislocated joint with minimal swollen tissue in the surrounding area could take up to three months to heal completely. A surgeon might require a surgical procedure to repair torn ligaments that resulted from the dislocation.
The patient might experience blood vessel injury and nerve damage without treatment, including physical therapy and medication. A dislocation might result in permanent or long-term problems.
How Do You Fix a Dislocated Joint?
Orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists will usually provide the patient with numerous recommendations to heal completely. After treatment, the doctor might encourage the patient to rest the affected joint and avoid repeating the same motion that caused the injury to minimize inflammation and swelling.
The patient might be advised to apply heat and ice intermittently and take painkillers, including NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Motrin or ibuprofen. Using physical therapy to maintain the joint's range of motion can minimize discomfort and encourage the body to heal the area in time.
What Happens If a Joint Becomes Dislocated?
A dislocated joint is a severe injury that separates two or more attached bones from their correct position. Typically, a dislocated joint is extremely painful because it immobilizes the joint while causing a temporary dis-formation.
Active individuals, athletes, and those in car accidents could experience a dislocated finger, wrist, elbow, or shoulder joint.
Is a Dislocation Worse Than a Fracture?
Dislocated joints tend to damage nerves, veins and arteries during the dislocation or when joint bones are realigned. Alternatively, fractures are less likely to rip, tear, or damage nerves unless the broken bone is a compound fracture or portions of the bone pierce through the skin and underlying tissue.
Can a Dislocation Fix Itself?
Every dislocated joint is a particular event that requires unique healing. For most individuals, realigning a dislocated joint might still take several weeks to recover fully.
Other dislocations, including the shoulder, hips, and kneecaps, might require one or more surgical procedures, taking the patient many months or years to recover fully.
Hiring a Car Accident Dislocation and Joint Injury Attorney
Were you hurt in a car or truck accident? If so, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can represent your legal and financial interests while you focus on your physical recovery.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a risk-free consultation with a Chicago auto accident attorney.
Our law firm accepts all cases and lawsuits through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until your joint injury lawyer resolves your case.
Your free initial consultation will create an attorney-client relationship to ensure what you discuss with our law firm remains private.