Here Are the Top 3 Knee Injuries Caused by Auto Accidents
Knee injuries are a common result of auto accidents and can range in severity from minor swelling to long-term physical disability.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these injuries can help you receive prompt medical care, which is essential for a successful recovery and for preventing long-term medical problems. Our team at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel discusses the top three knee injuries caused by auto accidents, their symptoms, and treatment methods.
Common Knee Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
The knee joint is more intricate and more prone to damage than other parts of your leg, particularly in auto accidents.
The knee joint not only supports your body weight, but it allows your leg to bend and rotate with the help of ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. If any of these components are damaged during an accident, you will experience pain and reduced range of motion.
The three most common knee injuries caused by auto accidents include:
- #1. Torn Meniscus: Your knee’s menisci are cartilage that serve as a cushion or shock absorber to safeguard the joint. Due to abrupt movements and the impact of the accident, your knee’s meniscus might tear. You may experience swelling with a meniscus tear as well as a clicking sound in the joint when you extend your knee. Surgery is the only effective treatment option when a knee meniscus is torn.
- #2. Dislocated Patella: Your kneecap is called the patella. The violent jolt from an accident, especially if you hit your knee on the dashboard, can dislocate the patella. You’ll probably have trouble flexing or extending the joint when this occurs. Physical therapy can be greatly beneficial for recovery after a doctor has repositioned the kneecap.
- Tendon Ruptures & Torn Ligaments: The tendons in your knee can cause extreme pain if ruptured during an accident. This can occur if the patella is dislocated. Surgery is the most common form of treatment for tendon ruptures. The term “dashboard knee” refers to a torn posterior cruciate ligament or PCL. Though physical therapy can help with mobility, most patients opt for surgery to help repair the damage.
What are the Symptoms of Knee Injuries?
Depending on the severity of the auto accident, you may experience a variety of symptoms.
Common knee symptoms include:
- Knee pain
- Inability to support weight
You will experience immediate pain the more serious the injury is. However, it is important to note that bruising and swelling from soft tissue injuries may not show up immediately. This is why it is crucial to seek medical attention even if you don’t think you are injured following an accident.
Treating Knee Injuries
Surgery is typically advised for ligament tears, tendon ruptures, and torn meniscus. But for less severe injuries, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and home treatment can be beneficial.
The home recovery program may consist of:
- Limiting the range of motion in your knee can give it more time to mend.
- Keeping your damaged knee elevated above your heart can aid with circulation and reduce swelling.
- Swelling and soreness in the knee can be reduced by applying an ice pack for 30 minutes at a time.
- After a dislocation, a knee brace or tight wrap can assist reduce swelling and stabilize the patella.
- Tylenol, Aleve, and Advil are a few examples of painkillers that can help ease knee discomfort and reduce inflammation.
Recovery from Accident Injuries
The journey to recovery from a knee injury can be a difficult one. But with physical therapy and the help of compassionate physicians at Impact Medical Wesley Chapel, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Our experienced team understands the unique challenges that come with knee injuries and know how to get you back on your feet. From providing personalized treatment plans to offering support throughout the process, we are here for you every step of the way.
Contact us today at (813) 953-1002 to schedule an appointment at our Wesley Chapel office!