What it Means When You Suffer a Torn Meniscus in Your Knee From an Accident
One of the most common parts of the body badly injured in an accident are the knees. Injuries to one or both knees occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, trip or slip and fall accidents and sporting accidents. Knee injuries can be debilitating, as the knee is a joint that is needed in many daily activities like walking, running, jumping, driving and carrying heavy items. While there are many different kinds of serious knee injuries, perhaps the most frequent injury to the knee suffered in accidents is a torn meniscus. The menisci are cartilage which are shaped like the letter “C” and serve to cushion between the shinbone on top of the knee and the thighbone below.
How a torn meniscus knee injury can happen in a car accident
A torn meniscus can occur because of a car accident, usually from the knee striking the dashboard of the vehicle due to the impact. This can happen even if you are wearing your seatbelt. A torn meniscus can also occur to a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, either because of the impact itself or from hitting the ground after the impact. In a car accident, the knee injury may be just one of many injuries you suffer to various parts of your body, and it may be a few days before you realize the extent of the injury.
How a torn meniscus knee injury can happen in a trip or slip and fall accident
When a person loses balance, he/she often lands awkwardly and the knee may be forcefully twisted because of this. The knee joint can also be twisted when a person initially slips. In a trip situation, the knee can become twisted when the foot suddenly makes contact with an obstruction and the body’s weight is shifted onto the knee joint.
What are the symptoms and treatment for a torn meniscus injury?
A torn meniscus can present in several ways, including swelling around the knee joint, weakness or tightness in the knee, sharp pain, and the feeling that the knee is collapsing when weight is being applied. The injury can sometimes be detected by a physical examination but is usually diagnosed by an MRI. Treatment for a torn meniscus can vary. Physical therapy is sometimes an effective treatment in strengthening the surrounding muscles. In many cases, surgery is required to repair the torn meniscus. This surgery is called an arthroscopy. Insurance companies tend to discount a torn meniscus claim without surgery. It is important to document how the injury prevented your ability to function as you could before, which can include time out of work, sports or hobbies you enjoyed and necessary household activities.
If you are in a car accident, slip and fall or any other kind of accident where you suffer a serious injury to your knee, a California personal injury attorney should be one of your first calls. We are here to listen and explain how these cases work and what you can expect in the process.