Knees are so central to the human body, and quite complex; while they have a limited range of motion compared to other joints, they are responsible for carrying most of our body weight. As such, they are a common spot where injuries occur. Chances are, if you’re dealing with a personal injury related to an accident, it’s located on or around one or both knees.
The following personal injuries to the knee are some of the most common that arise in accident-related claims:
- Ruptures and Tears to Tendons
Your chiropractor may explain to you how two main tendons surround the knee and are vulnerable to injury; in particular, to ruptures and tears. These are the patellar tendon and the quadriceps tendon. Due to many factors, especially their location, they can tear quite easily, in which case surgery could be needed.
Fractures to the knee commonly affect the patella, i.e. the kneecap. The tibia, fibula, and femur bone are near to the knee and fractures to these bones can affect it as well. Falls and car accidents are the most common causes of fractures to the knee. In either scenario, a great deal of stress can be placed upon the front of the knee, which can lead to a fracture if it is great enough.
There are four different categories of patellar fractures: stable, displaced, comminuted, and open.
- Stable fractures are when the sections of bone on both sides of the fracture are not displaced, i.e. are stable. This type tends to heal with immobilization and rest.
- Displaced fractures are when the bone sections are no longer aligned. There can even be a gap between the broken segments. This type of injury tends to need surgery. It could ultimately result in related damage to a tendon or ligament.
- Comminuted fractures are when the patella is fractured into at least 3 segments. Also considered unstables, this kind of fracture always needs to be operated on.
- Open fractures are also called compound fractures. This is when fragments of bone are visible through broken skin. An open fracture always requires being operated on, and typically leads to the knee being unstable even after it has healed.
- Meniscal Injuries
Meniscus cartilage is located between the femur and the tibia bones in the leg. They are bands of tissue that are highly fibrous and are considered to be “shock absorbers.” This cartilage is important for the knee joint to move freely. Meniscus tears can be complete or partial. Complete tears need surgery. Partial tears may heal with the use of a splint.
- Collateral Ligament Injuries
The knee’s collateral ligaments are found on either side of the joint. Injuries to the ligaments are generally from direct contact force which often occurs during athletics. However, it is also common that car accidents and falls can cause the same kind of force. There are often fractures associated with ligament injuries to the knee, which means there can be up to several months of recovery time.
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries
Behind the knee is the posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL. It is one of the connecting ligaments between the tibia and the femur. Motor vehicle collisions and falls which force people into twisting motions can often lead to these injuries. An injury to the PCL is often an incomplete tear. It tends to recover with rest and immobilization.
You could be in the position to receive compensation if someone else’s negligence led to your being injured. Any injury to the knee, whether it is mild or severe, could demand a great deal of medical care, and you want to be sure you can pay for the best care so you can recover. Diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care could all be covered by seeking damages. You can start exploring how by speaking with a personal injury attorney.