A knee can be injured in many different ways, in many different situations. One of the most common accident related knee injuries is a meniscus tear. The meniscus sits in the joint between the femur (thighbone) and the tibia (shinbone). It is cartilage that provides a cushion for the bones, to balance weight evenly throughout the joint. It also provides stability, so the knee does not move too far side to side. When a tear occurs, the knee swells, with pain and limited range of motion. Meniscus tears occur commonly through a car accident or a slip and fall. When this occurs as a result of negligence, a personal injury attorney may be necessary to evaluate whether you have a legal case.
How Meniscus Tears Occur
A meniscus tear occurs when the knee joint experiences contact or pressure from a forced twist. Additionally, sudden turns, deep squatting, and heavy lifting can injure the knee as well. It is common for a sideways, twisting motion from the direct contact to the knee to tear ligaments and other components as well.
A car accident can cause a torn meniscus when a knee hits the dashboard forcefully enough, or a collision causes the knee to bend and twist to the side. Similarly, a slip and fall can tear a meniscus, through a sudden twist or hitting the knee on the ground. These accidents can cause minor, moderate, or severe tears, depending on the type of tear.
Symptoms of meniscus tears and other knee injuries include pain, swelling, the feeling of instability, and limited range of motion. A feeling of slipping or popping in the knee can indicate that a piece of cartilage is loose and blocking the free movement of the knee joint.
Treatments for Meniscus Tears and Knee Injuries
Doctors can diagnose meniscus tears and other knee injuries by physical examination with the assistance of MRI findings. It is important to start treatment for a knee injury immediately, so be sure to contact a doctor as soon as possible after the injury. After receiving medical attention, contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate whether you have a case.
As with any injury (knee or otherwise), you should immediately rest, ice, compress, and elevate the injured area, to reduce swelling and inflammation. Sometimes these actions, along with physical therapy, are enough to heal the tear. In certain situations, surgery is needed to recover. The typical knee surgery is arthroscopic knee surgery. This surgery is minimally invasive which helps to reduce the risk of surgical complications. During the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision to allow access for a small camera and certain surgical tools used to trim and repair the damaged meniscus. Recovery time takes about six weeks, during which a patient will wear a knee brace and use crutches.
Personal Injury Attorney
The physical consequences of a knee injury can be disabling and the treatment costly. When a knee injury occurs, immediately seek out medical attention. It is also important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorneys at www.lawyers24-7.com to find out if you have a case. Call today at (718) 364-4000, or fill out this online form.