While you may associate car accidents with injuries like whiplash, concussions, or cuts and scrapes, legs are actually very commonly injured in these scenarios. During impact, your legs may move in unnatural or abnormal ways that can cause them to react badly. Legs can also be caught in crushed parts of a vehicle, like under the dashboard. Regardless of the type of leg injury you have sustained, an orthopedic doctor in Atlanta will be able to assess your personal situation and develop a plan specific to your needs for recovery. Read on to learn about some of the common injuries treated by these specialists.
Surface Skin Injuries
Things like cuts and bruises can vary in severity and therefore in what the healing process may look like. A deeper cut will usually take longer to heal, and may require stitches to prevent further blood loss. Depending on the area of your leg that has been injured, walking or normal movements may even be hindered. Without proper care, the risks of infection, scarring, and blood loss increase, so even if your injuries appear to be mild, having them evaluated is always the best choice.
Strains and Tears
During the movement of a car crash, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are often stretched beyond their normal capacity. This can cause them to strain, and in some cases to tear completely. This is what occurs in whiplash, but your legs are also susceptible to the same issues. When this happens, your leg may be in pain, swollen, and unable to move as normal. Depending on the area, you may need to use crutches or a brace to stabilize the leg as it heals.
When a bone is knocked out of its joint, this is called a dislocation and can occur in any joints in the leg- the hip, the knee, or the ankle. You may be able to visibly see the damage here, but will certainly experience intense pain either way. Typically you will be rendered immobile in the joint that has been dislocated. An x-ray and MRI can determine how severe the dislocation is and whether surrounding tissue has been damaged, which will help determine a course of treatment.
The legs contain some of the longest bones that a human has like the femur, tibia, and fibula. It is not uncommon for these bones to break or even shatter during the impact of an accident- sometimes even protruding through the skin. A more complicated break will take longer to heal, but in almost all cases they will require immobilization to prevent movement and allow the bones to grow back together properly.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
If you have a blood clot located somewhere in your body, it may be dislodged by the trauma of a car accident and travel to your leg. When this happens, you are at a higher risk of a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. Unexplained pain, unexplained swelling, and discoloration in your legs may be signs of DVT and should be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.
The knee cap (or patella) is often injured when hit against a steering wheel or dashboard, which often results in a broken or dislocated patella. This is particularly common in head-on collisions. While immobilization can typically be used to heal this, a shattered paella will require surgery. Often, post-traumatic arthritis and chronic pain occur as a result of these injuries. A torn meniscus or ACL can also lead to knee instability and persistent knee pain over time.
A hip fracture occurs when the hip breaks at the upper end of the femur, which can be one of the most painful and difficult to treat breaks as it affects your pelvis. The pelvis is instrumental in your balance and mobility, so when it is affected, this can cause a lot of issues. This type of damage can heal with significant time, and potentially surgery.
If you have suffered from any leg injury, AICA Orthopedics is here to help. Our doctors work to design personalized plans to help meet your specific needs in the wake of an accident. Whether you are in need of muscle, ligament, or joint pain treatment, our doctors are able to diagnose and treat you with a comprehensive plan. At AICA Orthopedics you will work with a competent and compassionate professional whose goal is to get you back to health as quickly as possible.