Written on Nov 20, 2023 7:00:00 AM
Common Leg Injuries from Car Accidents + What To Do
Car accidents, unfortunately, are a common occurrence and can result in a wide range of injuries, with the legs being particularly vulnerable. The force of the impact often leads to fractures, sprains, dislocations, or even more severe conditions such as damage to the ligaments or knee trauma.
These common leg injuries from car accidents can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain, significantly hampering mobility and quality of life. Understanding the common types of leg injuries from auto accidents can aid in early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and faster recovery.
Common Leg Injuries in Car Accidents
In the aftermath of a car accident, there are several types of leg injuries that occur more frequently than others. What follows is an overview of these common injuries, which can vary greatly in severity and recovery time.
Knowing about these conditions not only helps in recognizing the signs early but also assists in understanding the kind of medical attention required for effective treatment.
Leg Contusions, Cuts, and Hematomas
A contusion is an injury caused by the direct impact of a blunt object on soft tissue, resulting in broken blood vessels beneath the skin. Cuts and lacerations may also occur due to torn objects or broken glass from car accidents. Hematomas are collections of blood outside the vessel wall that form around contusions and cuts. The hematoma can appear as a bruise, lump, or swelling.
Fractures in the legs can occur due to direct impact with hard surfaces during car accidents. The force of the crash often leads to broken bones and fractures in the lower extremities like the femur, tibia, pelvic bone, or fibula. In severe cases, surgery may be required to reset the bones and prevent further complications.
Sprains occur when ligaments are overstretched or damaged, resulting in pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Common sprains from car accidents include ankle sprains or knee sprains from sudden impact during a crash. Although sprains can heal on their own with rest and physical therapy, severe sprains may require surgery.
Dislocations occur when two parts of a joint become separated, resulting in pain and significant loss of mobility. Common dislocations that can result from car accidents include knee, hip, ankle, or shoulder dislocations. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be required to relocate the joint and restore mobility.
Knee injuries are a frequent occurrence in car accidents due to the direct impact of the crash and often lead to knee fractures, torn ligaments, or dislocation. These conditions can cause intense pain and immobility, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately after a crash.
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a band of tissue in the knee that connects the femur (thigh bone) with the tibia (shin bone). A forceful blow to the knee, such as during a car accident, can tear or stretch this ligament. ACL injuries often require surgery and physical therapy for rehabilitation.
Another common knee injury from car accidents is bursitis, which occurs when a small fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the knee joint becomes inflamed. This can be painful and make bending the knee difficult. Treatment typically includes rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.
The knee joint is surrounded by four ligaments: medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). If the knee joint sustains a strong impact during a car accident, these ligaments can tear or stretch, resulting in pain and reduced mobility.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries such as torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments can occur during car accidents due to the force of impact. These injuries may present with pain, swelling, and impaired movement in the affected area. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may involve rest, ice therapy, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that divides the thighbone and shinbone in the knee joint. A forceful blow to the knee during an auto accident can tear this cartilage, resulting in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Surgery may be required to repair the meniscus and relieve symptoms.
What to Do If You Have Leg Pain After a Car Accident
When to See a Doctor for Your Leg Pain
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can assess any injuries and determine the best course of action for treatment. It's also important to record all medical care received after a car accident, including any medications prescribed and therapy sessions attended.
Treating Your Leg Pain at Home
At-home care for leg injuries from car accidents includes rest, ice, compression wraps, and elevation to reduce swelling and discomfort. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken to ease the pain if recommended by your doctor. Physical therapy is also an important part of the recovery process to strengthen the muscles and increase mobility.
Seeking Compensation for Your Leg Injury
If you’ve sustained a leg injury in a car accident, it’s important to seek legal advice from an experienced auto accident attorney who can advise you on your rights and compensation options. In some cases, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
If you're seeking compensation for your leg injury after a Florida car accident, contact Lowman Law Firm. Our hometown team of car accident attorneys is here to help car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We serve the Brooksville, Spring Hill, and Dade City areas.