Though an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is associated with sports injuries in a tennis court or a soccer ground, this type of knee injury is pretty common in a car crash. A victim may sustain severe injuries when a car collides with another with a tremendous amount of force. One may suffer a second or third degree strain/sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament after an accident. If you or your loved one has suffered such injuries, make sure that you consult with a doctor for knee injury without any delay.
Causes of ACL Injuries
ACL injuries occur when the ligament is torn or damaged. It is caused when the direction of your vehicle is changed too fast, by twisting, or when your knee receives a hard blow from a car collision or object. A car accident victim sustains ACL injuries when the tibia is thrust forward with respect to the femur. One may suffer such injuries from a direct blow to the front of his knee during a collision.
Symptoms of Torn ACL
A car crash victim with a torn ACL may get his or her ligament twisted. The common symptoms include pain, swelling, feeling of instability in the knee, inability to put weight on the knee, and a pop sound when the injury occurs.
If the injury is severe, patients complain of a loud pop sound accompanied by excruciating knee pain. The pain will make weight-bearing and walking extremely hard. The knee joint will swell within a couple of hours after the car crash due to internal bleeding. You will also find it hard to straighten your knee. Get in touch with your knee injury doctor if you experience these signs or symptoms. Else, your knee will become more unstable, and you’ll suffer from chronic pain, swelling and discomfort. You may face more problems while climbing up and down the stairs or when walking on uneven ground.
Diagnosing a Torn ACL
As far as the diagnosis is concerned, it starts with your car accident doctor who will inquire about how the ligament injury occurred. Make sure that you describe what exactly happened, the angle of the impact, and the position of your knee before and after the crash, if you remember. You may also need to remember the sequence of the events before and after the incident.
Treatment of ACL Tear
Your knee injury doctor will ask you to do an MRI, X-ray or an ultrasound to figure out the severity of your injuries. The doctor may even ask you to undergo a few weeks of rehabilitation or physical therapy to alleviate pain, inflammation and swelling, as well as to strengthen the injured muscles in the leg. If a victim’s ACL is just sprained and not torn, all he or she will need is physical therapy. Depending on the kind of sprain, therapy can last for a longer period of time, say more than six months. In severe cases of an injury, a doctor may suggest a surgical ACL reconstruction for an accident victim who had experienced excessive stress on his knees. The surgeon will get rid of the damaged ACL and replace the same with a healthy tendon. Patients undergoing a surgery will require more physical therapy later. It may even take as long as nine months for the injured knee to heal completely post surgery.
Visit a doctor for knee injury to get your torn ACL treated at once. Make sure you have all the medical documents and reports in place to claim the maximum amount of compensation for the pain and injuries sustained, and to recover lost wages.