Car accidents have the potential to injure any number of parts of our bodies. While perhaps not as devastating as upper body injuries, knee injuries from automobile collisions are capable of derailing the victims life.
There are several components that make up the knee. The femur, tibia, fibula, and the patella are the bones that come together at the knee. Then, there are muscles, tendons, and ligaments the provide balance and allow movement of the knee joint. Inside the knee sit two pieces of cartilage called menisci that sit on top of the tibia and act as shock-absorbers. All of these parts have to function properly in order for the knee to work. Trauma or acute injury to the knee can cause serious damage that can affect a person for a lifetime.
Most Common Knee Injuries
The most frequently represented knee injuries that result from an automobile collision include:
- Torn Meniscus – The result of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. The symptoms generally include pain, swelling, popping and an inability for the knee to support a person weight. Treatment includes therapy to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the knee but when these measure are ineffective, surgery may be required.
- Knee Fracture – As with any type of broken bone, a knee fracture can have varying degrees. Generally caused by a direct blow, a kneecap fracture can happen at the top, center, or bottom and can happen in more than one area. Symptoms include bruising, swelling, inability to walk or straighten the leg. The location and severity of the fracture dictates whether or not it requires surgery to heal.
- Torn ACL – this injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament tears away from the knee joint. This can be extremely painful and potentially debilitating. Depending on the severity of the injury, therapy for rehabilitation can take 3 to 6 months. However, it can take 6 to 9 months to heal if surgery is required.
- MCL Tear – this is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. This ligament connects the thighbone to the lower leg. When injured, symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling. The pain can range from mild to sever, depending on the extent of the damage. It is possible to treat without surgery, unless the ligament is torn in a way that it cannot heal.
Knee injuries that result from automobile collisions can be serious. If you need weeks or months to recover, you will have to deal with lost wages. You may not be able to do the same work as you once did, resulting in loss of earning capacity. Knee injuries can affect you in ways you would not have otherwise imagined.
Possible Outcomes of a Knee Injury
The consequences of a knee injury vary depending on the severity of the injury, your age, and current physical condition. Some injuries heal with time after an initial medical treatment. However, some injuries may trigger long-term consequences. A doctor is the best person to suggest to you the best treatment option for your case.
Doctors usually use a conservative treatment method called RICE for minor knee injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, (gentle) Compression, and Elevation. If this treatment method fails, a doctor may recommend physical therapy for some weeks or months. If the injury is more serious, a doctor may suggest a surgical treatment option. Recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. For example, minor injuries may go away within a few days, while serious injuries may take weeks, months, or years to recover completely.
Representation for Knee Injuries
If you’ve suffered a knee injury in an automobile collision due to another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Maginnis Howard’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard has experience handling complex cases including those involving victims who have suffered major knee injuries due to the negligence of another North Carolina driver.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can reach us at 919.526.0450, or by email through our contact page.