Phoenix Knee Injury Attorneys
After being involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in a severe knee injury, surgery may be required. Many people sustain serious injuries in a car accident because of a variety of reasons. Their knee may hit the dashboard in the car accident or their knee may hit some thing else in the vehicle causing serious injury. Unlike other injuries, knee injuries are very common in any type of motor vehicle accident, whether it be that you are rear-ended, t-boned, or someone is taking a left in front of you and fails to yield the right of way. The Phoenix knee injury attorneys of The Husband and Wife Law Team are available for a free consultation regarding your accident.
After being involved in an accident as a result of someone else's negligence, it is important to get rightful compensation. We have handled many of these claims, including taking cases to trial. An injury to the knee can be very serious and permanent. Some knee injuries require years of medical treatment. The Phoenix injury lawyer can help you get the best settlement possible for your knee injury. If you do have a permanent knee injury that may also subject you to a lifetime of medical bills which should be the responsibility of the negligent party.
Knee injuries can occur from a variety of different accidents such as:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Trucking accidents
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
There are many types of knee injuries. A knee fracture is where the bone is broken in the knee. The knee is comprised of the tibia and the femur. These two are connected by the knee joint. The patella is a bone that is covering the knee joint. The patella allow the knee to straighten. You know your knee may be fractured if you experience:
- Your knee looks shattered
- You cannot walk at all
- Your knee cannot straighten
As Phoenix injury attorneys, we see this type of injury many times when helping victims of accidents. The patella or kneecap acts like a shield for the knee joint, therefore it can easily be broken. Patellar fractures are most commonly caused by a direct blow such as a fall or motor vehicle collision. These types of serious fractures often require surgery in order to heal.
What is a Patella?
The patella is a small bone but can be broken into many pieces. Fractures often occur in multiple areas of the kneecap. When you sustain this type of injury in an accident, you will learn that there are 4 major types of fractures.
The first is a stable fracture, where the bones meet up correctly and are aligned. The second type is a displaced fracture, which is when the bone breaks and is displaced. This type of fracture often requires surgery that places the pieces of bone back together. The third type is a comminuted fracture, which is very unstable because of the bones being shattered into three or more pieces. The final type of fracture is an open fracture. In this type of fracture, broken bones are exposed through the skin. An open fracture has a high risk of infection and may be associated with other injuries.
Symptoms of a Fractured Patella
Symptoms of a patellar fracture include pain and swelling, which is increased when pressure is put on the knee. A person should seek emergency medical treatment after any type of knee injury. A doctor will use an X-ray machine to see the location and extent of the injury. Often times surgery is required for patellar injuries. A surgeon will put the broken bones back into place and then have a patient wear a splint of cast for to keep the bones in alignment while healing.
Nonsurgical and surgical care of a fractured patellar involve physical therapy. Meeting with a physical therapist and working on specific exercises will help a person regain strength and motion in the kneecap.
In a great number of cases, a torn meniscus may not be able to be repaired. Menisci are incredibly fragile and severe damage leaves them permanently unable to heal, making it necessary for the cartilage to be cut out, trimmed, and even replaced. If the meniscus is cut out or trimmed down and is not replaced, the patient will continue to experience severe pain for the rest of their lives that can make it impossible to lead a normal life. Meniscal transplant surgery takes donor cartilage and puts it in place of the damaged cartilage that was removed from the patient. This can help to permanently and effectively eliminate knee pain from torn cartilage.
Meniscal transplant surgery is different from a full knee replacement. A meniscal transplant surgery focuses on one small area of the knee while a full knee replacement has a much longer recovery period and focuses on the knee as a whole. Depending on your age and medical history you may not qualify for a full knee replacement. There are also factors that can limit your ability to have this particular surgery, even if you are under the age of 55 years old.
Who Qualifies for Meniscal Transplantation Surgery?
Patients who are over the age of 55 are often considered candidates for a total knee replacement when a serious knee injury occurs. Younger candidates are considered for total knee replacement only when the damage is so severe that other options do not make sense. Those injury victims under the age of 55 years old do have the alternative of the meniscal transplant surgery when that is the cause of their knee pain. Those who are over the age of 55 will rarely be offered the opportunity to undergo this type of surgical procedure. However, just because you qualify for a transplant on the basis of age does not mean that it is right for you.
Those people with arthritis of the knee will likely not find comfort in a meniscal transplant since much of the pain likely derives from inflammation at the joint. Obese patients may also not be allowed to undergo this surgery. Other health and risk factors may be taken into consideration at the time you schedule your appointment. It is important to understand your options and whether you qualify for a meniscus transplant before heading down that path.
Complications and Controversies
Although the risk of complications from a meniscal transplant surgery for a knee injury are slim, they have occurred and there is a small chance that it could happen to you. Most patients will experience, to some degree, stiffness in the knee joint at least for a small period of time. Others will experience it for a longer period of time and to varying degrees. The need for a second operation may arise when the stiffness lasts for weeks, months or years, or when it is accompanied by incomplete healing of wounds or the surgical pain associated with the procedure.
More significant risks include infection, injury to blood vessels and nerves at the surgical site, and bleeding through the sutures. Some evidence suggests, however, that the risk of getting an infection, like HIV, from this procedure are one in 1.6 million. There is a greater risk of being struck by lightning.
Controversy also surrounds the meniscal transplant surgery because it cannot be guaranteed to provide long term results. There are many questions surrounding this relatively new surgery that are crucial for you to answer before agreeing to do it.
Being safe during surgery, especially when you are undergoing a meniscal transplant surgery, is critical whether you have suffered a long term or short term bout of knee pain from an injury. It is important to ask a lot of questions about the doctors, surgeons, nurses and treatments you will receive as a part of your surgery. This should include pharmacologic agents, anesthesia, and what the expected outcomes are for your surgery.
It is important not to rush into surgery and to consider all of your options prior to having surgery. Some doctors advocate for knee cushioning injections for several months before deciding to have surgery. You may also decide to get a second opinion before you decide to have surgery since some doctors come up with different opinions and solutions than others. By getting in the know before you agree to go under the knife, you can learn about your best options for recovery that will be both quick and long-lasting.
Recovering After Knee Surgery
Although needing to have knee surgery may seem overwhelming, most patients are able to recover with full use of their knee. A surgeon will discuss options of anesthesia and explain how you will feel after surgery. It is important for a person that just had knee surgery to start moving and putting pressure on the knee the day of surgery to avoid blood clots. A surgeon will give the patient a blood thinning medication to also help prevent clots. If the person hurts their knee in a motor vehicle accident, it may be that the surgery does not have time to go over all of these details as your surgery may be declared an emergency. We have had clients where their knees have been completely shattered because of the impact of the accident.
After spending a day recovering in the hospital the patient will most likely need to meet with a physical therapist. The physical therapist will often come to the patient's room to begin exercises. Continuous movement of the knee is very important in regaining strength and motion. People that have had knee surgery are usually required to stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days to regain basic functions that might be more difficult after the surgery such as showering and changing clothes. Patients must also be able to bend their knee 90 percent before going home. Many knee surgery patients are fitted with a walker or crutches to increase mobility.
Once home, a patient will need a lot of extra help with household chores and other activities. It is important to prepare ahead of time for surgery by removing rugs or electrical cords which can cause a person to trip and fall. Installing safety bars in the shower can also help a person that is recovering from knee surgery to have some independence. It is important to ask you doctor a lot of questions so that you have a full understanding of your knee injury.
If you have questions about being injured in a car accident, slip and fall, motorcycle accident, nursing home case, any motor vehicle accident claims that has led to a knee injury, call Phoenix's personal injury attorneys, The Husband And Wife Law Team at (602) 267-1280. The Husband and Wife Law Team is focused on personal injury and wrongful death claims.