Joint Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

Joint injuries and dislocations often occur as a result of car accidents. When a victim experiences a severe joint injury during a car accident, they often suffer serious long-term consequences. Severe joint injuries can result in limited mobility and make it difficult for a person to return to work and engage in their daily activities.

Recovering from a joint injury after a car accident is not as simple as many people think. Treatment of injured joints can require multiple surgeries and ongoing physical therapy. Even after receiving months of treatment, joint damage victims may still experience severe pain and find it difficult to return to work. We will discuss some of the most common joint injuries from car accidents below.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are common joint injuries that occur in car accidents. Even when a driver or passenger is wearing a seatbelt, the car accident’s force can cause the neck to snap forward and backward quickly, leading to whiplash injuries. Whiplash injuries are typically caused by rear-end collisions, but any type of car accident can cause neck damage. In many cases, victims may not even know the extent of their neck injuries until hours or days after the car accident.

Whiplash does not merely include tissue damage, but it can also damage the spinal bones, ligaments, discs, and nerves in the neck. When left untreated, a victim’s spinal joints may continue to function and properly due to a lack of resiliency and shock absorption in the neck. Other victims may experience difficulty with their mental functions, restricted neck movement, pain, and numbness.

After the shock wears off, they begin to feel extreme pain in their neck and have difficulty moving their neck. Seeking treatment for neck injuries can be expensive and require ongoing physical therapy. In some cases, victims of neck injuries never fully recover from the injury. In severe cases, one of the vertebrae in a victim's neck can become broken, resulting in paralysis.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are also common in car accidents, and they can result in a devastating loss of mobility. Without the use of our knees, we cannot walk and move around correctly. Two of the most common types of knee injuries in car accidents are posterior collateral ligament (PCL) tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.

The PCL is located in the back of a person's knee and keeps the shin bone from moving too far back when we walk. When the PCL becomes damaged, it is typically when a person's bent knee slammed into the car’s dashboard upon impact. Damage to a person's ACL can occur when a person's knee slams against the door or dashboard. The ACL gives the kneecap stability and holds the shin bone in its proper position.

In most cases, ACL injuries are more severe than PCL injuries. However, even the smallest tear in the ACL cannot heal independently, and ACL injuries often require surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation. Both ACL and PCL knee injuries can lead to the development of arthritis.

Elbow Injuries

Elbows often suffer radial head dysfunction in car accidents. The radial head can become struck or get jammed in a car accident due to the car accident’s force. When the radius has been forced out of place, the radial head cannot move. This type of injury is commonly called elbow dislocation and requires a medical professional to reposition the bones. Even after a physician fixes the dislocation, victims can suffer pain and arthritis. Depending on the type of injury, there could be additional damage to the elbow that requires surgery.

Jaw Injuries

Victims of car accidents can suffer jaw injuries as well. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) damage is common in car accidents. The TMJ is the part of the jaw that meets the skull. When the TMJ is injured or broken, a person cannot open and close his or her mouth. TMJ injuries are often associated with whiplash.

Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

If you or your loved one has become injured in a Charlotte area car accident, the legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC is here to help. We will evaluate your case and advise you as to what type of compensation you deserve. Whether you file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company or seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, we can provide you with the experienced, skilled legal representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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