After a serious car accident, many people are overjoyed that their injuries weren’t worse. They may have sustained moderate injuries—but are happy to be alive, and leave the hospital feeling extremely lucky.

However, this feeling soon wears off in the aftermath of a car crash joint injury, as patients recovering from fractures, sprains, and dislocations begin to feel the full—and often permanent—effects of the trauma.

What Kinds of Joint Injuries Do Car Accidents Cause?

  • Hip injuries – An injury to one or both hips can cause problems throughout a victim’s body. Even if a patient chooses to undergo hip replacement surgery, he or she may still suffer a permanent loss of mobility, inability to stand, run long distances, lift heavy objects, or play sports without pain. A dislocated hip can also result in nerve damage, leading to a loss of sensation in the legs and feet. In older adults, hip injuries can cause complications that may be fatal.
  • Knee injuries – One of the most common injuries after a crash is knee joint damage. A victim’s knees will often strike the steering column, dashboard, or front seat, tearing the victim’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). This injury may need surgical treatment (especially if nearby bones are also broken) as well as physical therapy, and in many cases will result in lost mobility or even permanent irregular knee movements.
  • Elbow injuries – Elbow injuries are common in drivers who brace their arms against the steering wheel before impact, but also in passengers who attempt to shield their faces with their arms in a crash. Damage to the elbow joint may involve twisting, impingement, or even crushing as a result of a Route 27 rollover crash, and will commonly result in a limited range of motion and inability to perform some self-care routines.
  • Shoulder injuries – The most common shoulder joint injury involves the rotator cuff, and will likely involve surgical repair. Patients will often have to remain immobile for several weeks to allow the shoulder to heal, resulting in lost time from work and increased medical costs from ongoing physical rehabilitation.
  • Finger and wrist injuries – Gripping the steering wheel or slamming a hand into the window in a crash can result in a broken wrist and damaged fingers, restricting grip strength, finger reach, and fine motor skills during recovery and beyond.

Are you still recovering from a joint injury that happened years ago? Leave a comment below to tell others what you wish you had known right after your accident.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer
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