In a car accident, there are several ways in which you could potentially injure your knee, depending on the nature and severity of the accident. Here are a few possibilities:
- Impact: If there is a direct impact on the side of the vehicle where your knee is knocked around. Your knee may collide with the interior of the car, causing injury. This could be the door itself or the center consol of the car or vehicle you are in. The force of the impact can lead to various injuries, including fractures, dislocations, or soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage is common in car accidents and can lead to ache or painful knees. Walking up stairs and normal every day motions can become painful.
- Bracing: In anticipation of a collision, you might instinctively brace yourself by tensing your leg muscles or extending your leg against the dashboard or footwell. This action could result in trauma to your knee, such as ligament sprains, meniscus tears, or fractures. Bracing often causes muscle sprains as well in the quads, hamstrings and even calf muscles. This may also impact your foot or ankle in some situations. Bracing or even braking can cause a sprain in the knee. Many people, when rear ended, have their foot on the brake. Even though the brake may give a little, there is still such a quick and intense force put through a persons body it can cause sprains in the knee and even ankle. These injuries can, at times, be overlooked. Always make sure you tell your doctor, chiropractor, or treating physician all of the pain you are having after an auto accident.
- Twisting or hyperextension: Sudden movements during the accident, like twisting or hyperextending your leg, can cause damage to the structures within the knee joint. This could result in injuries such as ligament tears (such as the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL), meniscus tears, or patellar dislocation. Many times with these injuries a MRI is needed to confirm the injury is there. MRIs will detect the soft tissue damage or tears that can be caused by a car accident.
- Debris or objects: During the accident, loose objects or debris within the car may become projectiles, potentially hitting your knee and causing injury. For example, if a piece of the dashboard or window glass shatters, it can cause cuts, lacerations, or contusions on your knee. Make sure things are secure in your car and make sure you do not have any broken pieces around your dash or areas where your knees could contact and be damaged more. You also want to make sure there is space for your knees. If your knees are in contact with the dash board while driving or riding as a passenger you could suffer severe knee injuries.
It’s important to note that the specific mechanism of injury can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the car accident. The severity of the injury can also range from mild to severe, and immediate medical attention should be sought to properly assess and treat any potential knee injuries following a car accident. If you feel like you have been severly injured after an accident it is best to go to the ER or Urgent Care. Otherwise folowing up with a Chiropractor that knows extremity adjusting or a physical therapist is highly recommended. They can also order a MRI if they feel there is a need. Getting checked after an auto accident is very important. You do not want to put off being checked.
You can help treat your knee pain at home with ice, IB Profen or over the counter anti inflammatory medicine, pain relieving creams, knee braces, and with elevation / rest. These will not fix the problem necessarily, but help get the pain down till you can see a doctor or physician to get the proper help and treatment plan needed to get you better.
Axcess Accident Center is a local Utah Chiropractic clinic that does treat knee pain after an auto accident. We often see people with knee pain and have been able to help them with the care they need. Some have needed massage, chiropractic or even acupuncture. Others may require a small surgery or even something more. Make sure you get the care you need after an auto accident. Each person in Utah has medical coverage built into their auto insurance. Do not be afraid to get checked and treated after an accident if you feel you have been injured.
Axcess Accident Center has locations in American Fork, Provo, Spanish Fork, and West Valley. Each location in Utah provides Chiropractic Care and more:
Learn more about Axcess Accident Center at www.axcessac.com or call us at 801-701-8222