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Common Knee Injuries from Car Accidents

/17 Mar 2018
/By admin

Knee injuries sustained in car collisions can result from pretty much any kind of impact. They are typically caused by a sudden twist or blunt force trauma (or BFT). Injuries consist of sprains, strains, ligament and cartilage tears, dislocations and fractures. Here are some of the most common examples of auto accident knee injuries. A common dashboard injury is a partial or complete tear of a knee’s posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). A partial PCL tear might be treated by strengthening the quadriceps group of muscles to make up for the loss of the stability that the PCL provides. A complete tear requires surgical rebuilding of the PCL with transplanted tissue. A few weeks at home might be required if you have a desk job. Expect the knee to become arthritic. There also several other injuries sustained in car accidents that are common in knees:

Strains, Sprains and Tears

Strains and sprains occur when muscles and ligaments are suddenly stretched beyond their normal limits. Knee strains and sprains are usually treated conservatively with rest, icing, compression and elevation of the affected leg. Ligament tears can be extremely painful. In motor vehicle crashes, the two knee ligaments that are most commonly torn are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament. Both types of tears are likely to require surgery and extensive rehab.

Cartilage Tears

Each knee has two cartilaginous pads that operate as cushions between the thigh bone and shinbone. Each of those pads is known as a meniscus. Different types of tears can be located in different parts of a meniscus. The tears might require a brace due to weakness of the affected knee. They sometimes require surgery to remove the damaged cartilage. Recovery time is usually short, and any permanent damage from the tear is minimal.


Knee dislocations are more likely to occur in high speed crashes when trauma forces the bones of the knee joint out of their normal positions. They’re very complex injuries, and they’re likely to involve torn ligaments and cartilage too. Secondary issues like arterial blockage from the dislocation could result in the need for amputation.


A knee can be fractured in any number of ways in a car crash, but we usually see them in the context of head-on and side impacts. The most common type of fractures in these crashes is a fractured knee cap (patella) from blunt force trauma with a dashboard. Treatment of a kneecap fracture mostly depends on whether the fracture was simple or displaced. A simple patella fracture is treated with a full cast for six to eight weeks. Crutches will be in order during this period. A displaced fracture is more complicated. Muscles pull the pieces of the knee cap apart. Surgery is usually required in order to bring the pieces back together. Arthritis can develop in the future.

Contact an Attorney

A serious knee injury from a car crash can impact a victim physically, financially and emotionally. Reach out to an attorney who represents victims of motor vehicle crashes who suffered serious knee injuries as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else. You can request a free consultation and case review on your knee injury case. There’s no obligation, and if they enter into a retainer agreement with you, usually no legal fees are due unless they obtain a settlement or verdict for you. If you are the victim of an injury, reach out to an experienced car accident attorney Des Moines IA trusts for legal advice.

Thank you to Johnston & Martineau PLLP, for providing their insight and expertise on car accidents.