One of the most common injuries you can receive in a car accident is knee damage. Even small accidents can cause long-term knee injuries. When you have injuries to this joint, your ability to get around by foot is severely impacted. Continue reading to learn more about how car accidents can damage your knee, the types of knee damage they cause, and what treatments you can expect.
How Do Car Accidents Damage Knees?
A collision not only stops your car's momentum but can also push your car's interior into you. When you drive, your knees are in a precarious position. Though modern cars have well-designed crumple zones, they don't always effectively protect your knees.
During an accident, forces can twist and turn your knees in unnatural ways. Or, your knees can hit or be pinned by the dashboard. All of these actions can cause damage to the bones and soft tissues in and around the joint.
What Types of Knee Damage Happen in Car Accidents?
You could receive more than one type of knee damage during a car accident. Here is a list of some of the most commonly seen accident-related knee injuries.
When your knee twists or hits an object, the ligaments associated with the joint can stretch and tear, causing you significant pain.
The meniscus is a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage that cushions the area between the femur and tibia. Severe twisting can tear this tissue and cause instability in your knee.
Fractured or Dislocated Bones
An impact with the dashboard or other object can fracture the patella. Twist injuries can cause the bone to move out of place.
How Does a Doctor Treat Accident-Related Knee Injuries?
Unfortunately, the most common and effective treatment for accident-related knee injuries is surgery. Some of the tissues, like the meniscus, don't heal on their own. Fortunately, many of these surgeries are minimally invasive and often only involve a small incision. The doctor may treat a dislocated or fractured patella without surgery if surrounding tissues are in good condition. Recovery for many knee injuries can sometimes take several months.
Knee damage is extremely common in car accidents and difficult to prevent, even with seat belts. Some cars have knee airbags. However, their effectiveness is unproven. If a car accident damaged your knees, see a doctor right away, even if you think it is minor. Your knees are important for your overall mobility and quality of life. If you wait too long, you could risk further damage.
For treatment following a car accident, visit a facility like Ohana Healing Center.