- When will my injury heal?
- Do I have to stay off my feet?
- Who will pay for my surgery?
- When can I go back to work?
In this article, our Kansas City auto accident attorneys answer some frequently asked questions about knee injuries.
What is a knee dislocation?
The knee is made up of three bones; the tibia (shin bone) meets the femur (thigh bone) under the patella (knee bone). There are two menisci on top of the tibia which act as shock absorbers to keep the bones from hitting against each other. The bones are stabilized and held in place with six strong, but flexible ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the oblique popliteal ligament (OPL), and the arcuate popliteal ligament (APL).
A knee dislocation occurs when the tibia is knocked out of place in relation to the femur. Because the ligaments are so strong, it takes a powerful force to cause this kind of damage - the kind of force your knee might experience if it hits the dashboard during a Kansas City rear-end collision. In order for the dislocation to occur, one or more of the ligaments must tear. The dislocation may also cause serious damage to other parts of the knee including the tendons, muscles, cartilage, and even the nerves and arteries.
What are the symptoms of a knee dislocation?
Knee dislocations are very painful. The knee won't hold weight and looks deformed or out of place. It may be bruised from the impact that caused the injury, and it may be swollen. In some cases, there is no feeling or no pulse below the knee.
If you think your knee is dislocated, it is important to seek medical attention.
How is a knee dislocation treated?
The emergency room doctor will move your lower leg back into position and order several tests that will help determine the extent of the damage to your knee. The tests may include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans, arteriograms, ultrasounds, and testing of the nerves.
The knee joint will have to be immobilized to keep it in place until it is healed, so the entire knee joint will be placed in a splint or immobilizer. You will be told to keep weight off your legs and to keep the leg elevated as much as possible. The doctor will prescribe medication for the swelling and pain and refer you to a specialist such as an orthopedist.
Nearly all dislocated knees require surgery and extensive physical therapy. However, if there are no major complications, you should be able to resume most of your normal activities in two to six months.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.