When you have a knee injury, even simple things like walking or standing for short periods can feel nearly impossible. The cure for many knee injuries includes time and rest or even surgery. This often means the inability to work and missing out on the chance to live your life the way you normally would. If you experienced a knee injury in an accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation for your injury.
Whether your knee injury was caused by a car accident, a slip and fall, or another type of accident, a knee injury lawyer in Pittsburgh from Berger and Green is here to help you get the care and compensation you deserve: 412-661-1400.
Most Common Knee Injuries Caused by Accidents
The knee is a complex joint where multiple bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons connect. Because of its complexity, the knee is vulnerable to many different types of injuries.
In fact, the knee is one of the most easily injured joints in your body. Below are some of the most common types of knee injuries that people suffer in accidents and how these injuries might occur.
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Three bones connect at the knee:
- The thighbone (femur)
- The shinbone (tibia)
- The kneecap (patella)
Most often, it is the patella that breaks during a knee accident. However, the ends of the femur and tibia that connect at the knee may also break.
Fractures can range from tiny cracks in the bone to complete breaks that leave the bone in multiple pieces.
If the fracture is stable, meaning the cracked edges of the bone line up correctly, there is usually no need for surgery. Instead, the bones will typically stay in place while healing.
If the fracture is “displaced” (i.e., the broken edges do not line up), surgery may be necessary to repair the fracture.
An open fracture means that the bone has broken and punctured through the skin, leaving behind an open wound and exposed bone. Open fractures are more likely to result in complications and have a much longer healing time than closed fractures.
Symptoms of a broken bone at the knee include:
- An inability to walk or straighten leg fully
- A deformed-looking knee (for example if the knee looks crooked)
The most common accidents that result in broken knee bones include a direct blow to the knee from a moving object, during a car accident (for example if your knee slams into the dashboard), or from a slip and fall, especially if the fall is from a significant height.
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In some cases, high impact to the knee will not result in a broken bone, but instead a dislocation. This means that the bone has slipped out of place and needs realignment. With high-impact knee injuries, the patella can easily slip out of the V-shaped notch at the end of the thighbone where it normally resides.
Symptoms of a dislocated kneecap include:
- A creaking or cracking sound while moving
- Knees that buckle under your weight
- Kneecaps that slide to one side
A sharp blow or high-impact force from a vehicle accident can cause a knee dislocation.
Ligaments are the structures in your body that connect one bone to another. When your ligaments stretch or tear during an accident, this is what we call a sprain.
Partial tears often heal on their own, while more serious ligament tears will require surgery. There are four main types of ligament injuries in the knee:
- ACL Injury: A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Most often tears with a sudden change in direction.
- PCL Injury: A tear in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) which also connects the kneecap to the shinbone and most often tears from a blow to the front of the knee.
- LCL Injury: A tear in the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) which connects the thighbone to the fibula (which runs parallel to the shinbone). These tears result from a blow to the inside of the knee.
- MCL Injury: A tear in the medial collateral ligament (MCL) which connects the thigh bone to the shin bone. These tears result from a blow to the outside of the knee.
Symptoms of knee ligament injuries include:
- Hearing a popping noise at the time of the injury
- A knee joint that feels too loose
- Inability to put weight on your knee.
Like other knee injuries, car accidents, slips and falls, and other blows to the knee can cause ligament injuries.
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Injuries that tear or stretch your tendons are strains. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones.
Injuries to your tendons can make it difficult to walk and may require surgery or physical therapy to repair.
Symptoms of tendon tears include pain, swelling, bruising, cramping, difficulty walking, and inability to straighten your leg.
Most tendon injuries occur from falls with direct impact on the front of the knee or from landing incorrectly after a jump or fall.
Damages for a Knee Injury after an Accident
Knee injuries are notorious for affecting people’s daily lives. You may not be able to return to work for weeks or months after a knee injury.
In some cases, knee injuries can leave victims with permanent pain or limited ability to move. If this is the case, an injured person may never be able to return to the job he or she once had.
As such, knee injuries leave many victims with diminished or eliminated earning capacities. On top of this, you may be facing medical bills for things like surgery, physical therapy, and pain medication, which can quickly total thousands.
The attorneys at Berger and Green can help you get compensation for lost wages, lowered earning capacity, medical bills, and pain and suffering after your knee injury.
To recover, you will need to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injury.
Evidence for your case will include testimony from witnesses that saw the accident, photographs of the accident and the dangerous conditions that contributed to it, police reports, and medical reports. A doctor’s report of your injury proves that you were injured and serves as a baseline for damages.
The knee injury lawyers at Berger and Green in Pittsburgh are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injury.
Call us today to determine who may be at fault for your injuries and how much you may be able to recover: 412-661-1400.