Car accidents often cause debilitating and long-term injuries. Some of these injuries, including leg crush injuries, require extensive treatment and involve long recovery periods.
One of the most common injuries that can result from a car accident is a broken bone injury. It is not uncommon to see a cast on a car crash victim’s leg, but in some cases, it can be worse.
While broken bones are extremely painful, there are more serious injuries such as a crushed leg that can occur from a car accident. A crushed leg means that it is fractured in several places, and it is needless to mention that the overall damage and pain caused is much greater compared to a simple fracture. A crushed leg can have severe and even life-threatening consequences. In this post, our St. Louis car wreck attorney will discuss the possible consequences of a crushed leg.
A crush injury occurs when two heavy objects compress or squeeze a body part. For example, a passenger’s legs may get squeezed under the dashboard in a head-on collision. A crush injury may damage the muscles, obstruct or completely stop blood flow to an organ, and may even cause tissue death. Some common symptoms of crush injuries include heavy bleeding, bone fractures, bruising, and loss of consciousness.
Consequences of a crushed leg after a St. Louis car crash
There are various car accident scenarios that can result in a crushed leg. The victim’s leg may become trapped under the dashboard or caught under the steering wheel. It may even become completely pinned beneath the metal frame of the vehicle after a rollover crash. One of the most common consequences of a crushed leg injury is a fractured thigh bone or femur. This often requires surgical treatment, and the victim is rendered immobile for weeks. However, there are other more serious complications that can follow a crushed or twisted leg injury. These include:
Hip fracture: If you have suffered a hip fracture as a result of a crushed leg injury, you may need a partial or complete hip replacement in order to restore the complete function of the joint.
Hip dislocation: A crushed or twisted leg injury can cause hip dislocation, and doctors may have to insert screws in the hip joint to ensure that it heals properly.
Amputation: If the leg is crushed severely and is beyond repair, or if a fragment of the broken bone has severed an important artery, it may necessitate surgical amputation below or above knee level to save a life.
Paralysis: In case trauma to the pelvic region affects the spinal cord, the victim may suffer a complete loss of function below the waist.
The victims of a crushed leg injury often require prolonged hospital stays and long-term medical care. They also suffer debilitating restrictions concerning their ability to earn a livelihood. Huge medical expenses combined with a loss of income can put anyone in a state of financial despair. However, if the car accident that resulted in your injuries was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to recover all your losses, including medical expenses, therapy and rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering from the party at fault.
Other Common Leg Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
This condition occurs when the bursae or the cushion-like sacs responsible for padding the muscles, tendons, and bones of the knee become inflamed. When a person develops bursitis, he/she faces problems moving the knee and experiences pain and swelling.
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) connects the femur bone to the tibia and helps maintain stability and flexibility of the knee joint. An ACL injury is usually very painful and may cause swelling, weakness, and a popping sound in the joint. Surgery is often required to treat ACL injuries. Patients also have to undergo physical therapy to restore the function of the knee.
A broken leg may refer to the fracture of any of the three bones in the leg, such as the tibia (shinbone), femur (thighbone), or fibula (runs parallel to the tibia). When a person suffers a broken ankle injury in a car accident, the bones that are broken are usually in the ankle joint, for example – the talus (beneath the tibia and fibula), fibula (runs parallel to the shinbone) and tibia (shinbone).
A broken foot usually occurs in the car accident victim’s toes, or in the bones that connect the toes to the rest of the foot. These bones are known as “metatarsals.”
Common symptoms of a broken leg, foot, or ankle:
St. Louis car accident victims who suffer a broken leg, foot, or ankle may experience the following symptoms:
- Pain that increases with activity and subsides with rest
- Immediate, throbbing pain
- Swelling, bruising, tenderness
- Cuts, open wounds or protruding bone fragments
- Inability to walk or bear weight
The knee joint contains semi-circular, shock-absorbing cartilage, which can tear due to an unnatural rotating or twisting motion.
Common symptoms of torn meniscus:
Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim may have to undergo surgery, followed by physical therapy. However, minor cases are usually treated with pain medications, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.
Crush Injuries in Head-On Collisions
Crush injuries are common in head-on car crashes. The vehicles involved in such an accident often are completely damaged, with the seats, steering wheel, dashboard, and other parts getting crushed. In many cases, the passengers inside the car end up suffering severe injuries. Immediate medical help is required in such situations.
Crushed leg injuries are common in such serious accidents. A crushed leg injury occurs when the leg of the victim gets trapped under a heavy object or gets squeezed between two heavy objects. The consequences could be devastating and may even cause the loss of a limb. A crushed leg injury may cause lacerations, major fractures, vascular damage, excessive bleeding, and bruising.
Consequences of a Crushed Leg Injury
Thankfully, not all crush injuries are fatal or life-threatening. In case of mild injuries, necessary first aid treatment may suffice. However, some crush injuries cause serious medical complications and may even cause death. In addition to severe pain, a victim may develop a serious infection in the injured limb.
There is also the risk of serious bone fractures and in some cases, the doctor may recommend immediate surgery. The risks associated with surgery are also a cause for concern, especially when the victim is more than 50 years old.
In extreme cases, it may be required to amputate the damaged leg, while some crush injuries may trigger long-term complications, such as chronic pain, and neurological and psychological disorders. Another severe outcome of a crush injury could be rhabdomyolysis, a medical condition that causes rapid destruction of skeletal muscles due to extensive muscle damage.
How to Deal with the Consequences of a Crushed Leg Injury After a Head-On Collision
Crushed leg injuries generally require immediate treatment. In most cases, the victim needs to be hospitalized and undergo surgery. In some cases, long-term treatment will be required. Some symptoms may arise at a later stage, and thus the patient needs to watch out for any long-term complications under the guidance of an experienced doctor.
In addition to the physical and psychological disorders, a car accident victim may face financial distress due to a crushed leg injury. Apart from the medical bills, some patients suffer additional financial losses due to their inability to continue work. In the case of permanent damage to the limb, the financial future of the victim could be at stake. If you or your loved one has suffered a crushed leg injury in an auto accident, contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer from The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.
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