The knee joint is the biggest, most complex joint in the human body. The knee joint is a pivotal hinge joint, which functions through flexion and extension, as well as through slight rotation and sideways movement. Because the knee joint is responsible for supporting almost the entire body, it is the area most vulnerable to pain, injury, and degenerative arthritis. There are several causes of knee injuries and pain, but the most common are car accidents, falls, and certain degenerative diseases.
The knee joint connects the thigh to the leg and features two areas of movement. The first area of movement the knee joint allows is between the femur, or upper leg, and the tibia, or the lower leg. The second area is between the femur and the kneecap, or patella.
Common Causes of Knee Injuries:
- Sporting accidents
- Slip and Falls
- High impact collisions
- Car accidents
- Over rotation in physical activity
- Degenerative diseases
Types of Knee Injuries May Include:
The MCL, or the medial collateral ligament, is one of the main ligaments in the knee. This ligament, which rests on the inside of the knee, attaches the femur to the fibula. The MCL functions by keeping the knee from buckling inward. MCL injuries are typically caused from falls or high-impact auto accidents, and are extremely painful.
Partial MCL tears usually do not require surgery, as they generally take around 10 weeks to fully heal. Full MCL tears, on the other hand, typically require surgery, especially if the tear results in instability of the knee. MCL tears often happen in accordance with ACL tears.
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is similarly one of the main knee ligaments. The ACL is located deep within the knee, where it functions by keeping the knee tight and preventing it from hyper extension. The ACL can tear, typically where there is a dislocation or hyper extension of the knee. This is the most common type of knee-related injury, and often occurs simultaneously with injury to the knee’s meniscus. Much like an MCL tear, surgery is not always necessary if the tear is partial. However, a full ACL tear almost always requires surgical intervention, and a 9-15 month recovery period.
The joint disks in the knee are called menisci. These two disks, known as the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus, are made of connective tissue and collagen fibers. The disks lay flat at the center of the knee joint, where they keep the ends of the bones from rubbing against each other. The menisci similarly aid in shock absorption. When the knee is rotated or bent with extreme force, such as in a tractor trailer accident, the disks become cracked or torn. A crack or tear is typically seen in the medial meniscus, where they cause severe pain, as their absence force the bones to rub together. There are several ways to treat a cracked or torn meniscus, which include surgery, medications, or steroid injections.
Another type of knee injury occurs within fluid filled sacs within the knee. The bursae are small sacs and synovial pockets within the knee that lubricate the knee. These sacs are thin-walled, and are the weakest structure in the knee, causing them to be accident prone. Any type of trauma to the knee can cause the bursae to become irritated or burst. This irritation leads to swelling, pain and limited joint movement. While bursitis is not extremely serious, it can be extremely painful. The treatment of this knee injury may include steroid injections, medication, ice, bed rest, and in some cases surgery.
This knee condition is commonly referred to as Jumper’s Knee or Patellar Tendinitis. It occurs when the patellar tendon, which connects the lower half of the knee to the kneecap, becomes inflammed, resulting in pain and discomfort. Typically the inflammation occurs when the cartilage under the kneecap weakens. This softened cartilage stresses the kneecap, which results in the patella not gliding smoothly as it normally does. An injured patella features pain that increases with walking, climbing stairs, exercising, and prolonged sitting. Oftentimes in patellofemoral syndrome, the kneecap pops or suddenly moves when the leg is fully extended. Depending on the cause of the injury, surgery, steroid injections, physical therapy, or medication may be required as treatment.
The kneecap and the knee joint are both prone to dislocation. These dislocations of the knee joint typically damage soft tissue, include torn ligaments, torn tendons, menisci, bursae, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. The dislocation of the kneecap is not terribly severe, but can cause serious damage to the cartilage underneath the patella. Oftentimes, a knee joint or kneecap dislocation occurs simultaneously with other knee injuries. The treatment for a kneecap dislocation typically requires rest, medication, or steroid injections.
Osteoartiritis is a degenerative joint disease, and typically occurs as the result of aging or trauma. This type of joint disease refers to the breakdown of bodily joints, which causes individuals to be more susceptible to injury. Osteoarthritis that is exacerbated in a car crash or serious fall may require a full or partial knee replacement.
How to Hire a St. Louis Knee Injury Lawyer
Knee injuries can be extremely costly and debilitating. If an injury was caused by the negligence or intentional act of another, you are entitled to reimbursement for your harms and losses. Our St. Louis knee injury lawyers are recognized as Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and have helped injury victims recover over $35,000,000 for their injuries.
Call The Dixon Injury Firm today for a FREE knee injury consultation at (314) 409-7060 or 855-402-7247 (toll-free). Our case intake specialists are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is NO FEE unless we win your case.