Car accidents are traumatic events that can cause injuries to several parts of your body, including your knees. Knee injuries vary widely in severity, ranging from small cuts and bruises to severe soft tissue and bone injuries.
After an accident, you should always schedule a medical examination as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel any pain right away, there may be symptoms of knee injuries and other injuries building up that take a few days for you to notice. By the time you notice these symptoms on your own, it may be more challenging to make an insurance claim with your auto insurance provider.
Five types of knee injuries from car accidents
- Sprained ligament — The bones in your knee are connected by four major ligaments. These ligaments can be sprained from a direct impact to the knee in an accident or if your leg is straightened out and absorbs the force of a collision. A sprained ligament is a ligament that has stretched or torn. This is painful and limits your ability to bend or straighten the knee. Any of the ligaments in your knee can be sprained in a car accident, but one of the most common is the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This is commonly known as a dashboard knee because it occurs when a driver’s or passenger’s knee hits the dashboard in an accident.
- Torn meniscus — The bones in your knee are cushioned by flat, C-shaped pieces of cartilage known as the menisci. The force applied to your knee in an accident can cause one or more menisci to tear. This is painful and can prevent you from fully bending or straightening your knee.
- Dislocation — The kneecap can dislocate from the rest of the knee if enough force is applied or if your knee absorbs a direct impact. When this happens, you will be unable to bend or straighten your knee. In some cases, the kneecap is severely damaged when it dislocates. This usually requires surgery for treatment.
- Fracture — Your knees are made up of several bones in and around the joint that provides stability. Direct impacts in an accident can cause one or more of these bones to fracture, which is painful and prevents you from putting weight on your knee to stand or walk.
- Ruptured patellar tendon — An impact in an accident can cause the patellar tendon to rupture. This tendon connects the kneecap to your shinbone. When it ruptures, you may not be able to bend or straighten your leg.
Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for knee injury treatment
Knee pain after an auto accident is no light matter. Injuries to the knee limit your ability to live out your daily life and enjoy many of your favorite activities. Our orthopedic specialists at the Florida Spine and Joint Institute can help you recover from your injuries so you can get back to your life. Contact us today to talk to our team about knee injury treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.