Knee injuries are painful reminders of a car wreck and consist of several types of injuries. Ligament and soft tissue injuries comprise the majority of knee injuries stemming from a car accident, though an auto accident can lead to other connective tissue and ligament injuries as well.
Though soft tissue knee injuries are common, they do prove challenging and some can have lasting effects or create significant medical bills and other damages.
What Are Some Types of Knee Injuries Car Accident Victims Might Suffer?
Knee injuries vary, but all may stem from the kind of violent force consistent with a car wreck. Let’s take a closer look at some of the types of knee injuries that may occur in a car accident:
- An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury may lead to immediate swelling and instability. A loud popping sound might accompany this injury. The severity of your ACL injury determines whether or not you need surgery.
- A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury – or dashboard knee – only happens with substantial force. Located in the back of the knee, the PCL connects the thighbone to the shinbone (tibia). Like an ACL injury, swelling and instability may occur shortly after injury. This injury is often referred to as “dashboard knee” because striking the knee against the dashboard is a common cause of this injury.
- A medial collateral ligament (MCL) also connects the thighbone and shinbone. This band keeps the tibia and knee stable prevents your knee from bending in toward your body. A MCL injury can also lead to swelling, locking, and pain in the knee.
- A meniscus injury is an injury to the rubbery c-shaped discs cushioning the knee on either side. Each knee consists of two menisci to provide cushioning and stability. A meniscus injury may throw off your balance and lead to pain, swelling, locking, and instability in the knee.
What Is My Prognosis with a Knee Injury?
Your age, physical condition, type of injury, and the severity of the injury all play a role in the prognosis. Everyone is different and thus their knee injuries may come with different prognoses. Evaluation by a doctor is the best way to determine whether an injury is present, the extent of the injury, and what kind of treatment and recovery is necessary.
If the knee injury is minor, the doctor may recommend the conservative treatment method RICE. This stands for Rest, Ice, (gentle) Compression, and Elevation. RICE doesn’t always fix the problem though, and some people may require immobilization for several weeks or months, and these cases usually need physical therapy as well.
In some cases, patients must undergo surgery to repair the damaged structure(s) in their knee. This requires additional recovery time and may also necessitate physical therapy to regain mobility and strength.
How long you will feel the effects of the injury largely depend on its severity. Minor injuries may heal must faster than severe injuries, and surgery may prolong recovery, but may be a necessary part of the treatment regimen.
What Are My Options for Legal Action If Another Party Caused My Knee Injury?
All of this treatment and recovery (which may necessitate missing work) can create a financial burden for victims of car accidents. Thus, accident victims in the Indiana area should be apprised of their legal options if another driver is responsible for their accident and resultant knee injuries.
Keeping track of all your medical records proves essential, as does collecting other evidence to establish the effects the injury has had on your life, financially and otherwise. Indiana is a fault-based insurance state, so you have the option to file an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurer. If this does not lead to fair recovery, you may file a lawsuit.
If in the Indiana area, call Hensley Legal Group, PC, at (317) 472-3333 or contact us online to set up a free consultation about your knee injury.