Leg injuries come in many different forms, such as a sprain, break, ACL injury or torn meniscus. During an auto accident, the leg can be broken in one or more of its three main bones: the femur, the tibia and the fibula. Additionally, auto accident victims may suffer from foot or ankle breaks. Severe sprains and muscle tears can be equally or even more debilitating than fractures, and victims of these injuries may feel the effects for the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of potentially debilitating leg, ankle or foot injuries include:
- Throbbing pain (may be intermediate)
- Pain associated with certain physical activities (pain lessens when resting)
- Changes in physical appearance, such as swelling, bruising or deformities
- Difficulty walking or inability to bear weight on the injured leg, foot or ankle
- Wounds such as cuts or protrusion of bone fragments
-Source: Mayo Clinic
Treatment options for leg injuries vary according to the specific type and severity of the injuries, but doctors may recommend surgery for some cases. Surgery may entail adding implants (wires, plates, screws or rods) to align broken bones and promote healing over time. Some breaks may require less invasive options, such as casts, braces or manual manipulation. However, even these options could result in difficulty performing daily activities and missed time at work.
When the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tears during an auto accident, the victim may face numerous symptoms that can make mobility difficult. These signs of ACL injury may be begin within hours of the initial injury; they include loud popping sounds when moving the leg or knee joint, swollen knee, significant pain around the knee and unstable knee joint (especially a “giving way” feeling). After an ACL injury, your doctor likely will order physical rehabilitation therapy, or in some cases, surgical reconstruction using another tendon from your leg.
Another leg injury associated with auto accidents is a torn meniscus. This means that a piece of cartilage in your knee (between the femur and tibia) has twisted to the point of tearing. The meniscus serves as a cushion of sorts that keeps your knee joint stabilized. Usually, your doctor will order physical therapy sessions until you rebuild strength around the knee. You may also have to undergo a reparatory surgical procedure.
The bursa is a sac of fluid in the knee that eases the tension on pressure points around bones and muscles in the knee. When one or more bursa become inflamed (such as after an auto accident impact), doctors diagnose the condition as bursitis in the knee. Symptoms include loss of mobility, pain and swelling. Doctors typically treat the condition by removing excess fluid, administering corticosteroid injections and ordering physical therapy. Surgery to remove the inflamed bursa is also necessary in some cases.
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