Here is what you need to know about one of the most common leg injuries after a car accident: a dislocated knee.
Injuries caused by car accidents range from bruises and scratches to broken bones, internal bleeding, and other life-threatening forms. Damage to one of the major joints in the body, the knee, can leave a victim with a long period of recovery, complications, or chronic pain.
Here is what you need to know about one of the most common leg injuries: a dislocated knee.
Prevalence of Knee Injuries in Car Accidents
Knee dislocations are actually misnamed. A dislocation of the elbow or shoulder, for example, means that the big bone connecting to the joint just pops out of its socket. The knee joint is very complex and the bones are held together by ligaments. A “dislocated knee” usually means the complete tear of at least 3 out of 4 ligaments in the largest joint of your body.
A study based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathered between 1979 and 1995 shows that knee injuries are quite common, being present in about 10% of the collisions. Out of these instances, most are minor and don’t require extensive medical care or even missing work. However, knee dislocations are often true medical emergencies and should be attended immediately by emergency doctors.
According to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, knee dislocations are very rare, representing less than 0.2% of all orthopedic injuries. Most knee dislocations happen because of high-speed trauma, which perfectly describes a car accident injury.
Symptoms of Knee Dislocation
Usually, a knee dislocation can be observed immediately. Your knee changes its shape, you cannot straighten your leg or step on your foot, you are going through excruciating pain and you might have associated symptoms from other injuries, like arterial ruptures or concussions.
Treatment of Knee Dislocation
Depending on how damaged the knee joint is and whether it is accompanied by arterial damage or not, the medical treatment will be more or less extensive.
What is absolutely sure is that any knee injury should be seen by a doctor, and if you suspect that you have a knee dislocation, call an ambulance right away, as this is an emergency.
The doctor will examine your knee to determine the damage and assess whether your blood vessels are cut or punctured. You will be given strong medication for preventing infections and managing pain. You are also looking at a long recovery and potential complications.
Complications of Knee Dislocation
Unfortunately, knee injuries carry a long-term risk of knee-stiffness. Joint injuries get worse with time and victims often complain about lack of mobility and chronic pain. Popliteal artery injury is commonly associated with dislocated knees, and re-establishing the blood flow in the leg as early on will help avoid amputation
Getting Compensation for a Dislocated Knee After a Car Accident
If you have a dislocated knee because of a car accident, speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer. You have to make sure that the compensation you will get will cover all the pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income that will surely come afterward.