Q Is a knee dislocation a serious enough injury to pursue a car accident case?
Definitely. A knee dislocation is often caused by a direct heavy blow, such as when the lower legs strike the dashboard in a car crash. It typically results in the stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the knee, but can also cause nerve damage and bleeding due to severed arteries. Here are a few complications of a knee dislocation following a New Jersey crash:
- Loss of motion – Patients who recover from a knee dislocation commonly find that the joint will never have the full range of motion it was capable of before the accident, limited either by pain or healing difficulties.
- Mobility problems – Victims will often see reduced strength or ability to bear weight on the injured side years after the accident. Some may see a deformity of the knee even after the knee has been put back into place.
- Amputation – A torn artery can cut off blood supply to the lower leg, causing the tissues in the foot and leg to die. If circulation is not restored quickly, the patient may suffer the loss of the leg above the bleed.
- Paralysis – A nerve injury can create chronic pain, a feeling of “pins and needles,” or a total lack of feeling in the lower leg.
A Dislocated Patella Can Also Be a Serious Injury
In some cases, it is not the knee joint itself but the kneecap (patella) that becomes dislocated. Victims will often notice that the patella is out of place or able to be moved manually, causing extreme pain. The victim will typically have difficulty walking or extending the affected leg.
Treatment for a dislocated patella is often limited to moving the kneecap back into place and splinting the leg to prevent movement. Patients will have to undergo extensive physical therapy to strengthen the joint and prevent the patella from shifting out of place. It is vital that doctors x-ray all patella injuries for signs of a fracture, as a broken kneecap can cause life-threatening complications and even result in the loss of the leg.
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