Knee injuries are among the most painful, whether they are sports-related, caused by overuse, or due to trauma like a car accident or serious fall.
Knee injuries can affect the bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee.
How Common Are Knee Injuries?
In 2010 alone, more than 10 million doctor’s visits were related to knee pain or a knee injury. About 25% of adults have frequent knee pain that impairs their quality of life and limits their mobility or function.
The number of knee replacements has been steadily rising in the U.S. This has been attributed to aging and increasing obesity rates which put more strain on the knees. However, research suggests that the increase in knee pain and knee replacement has occurred independently of BMI and age.
Among adults disabled or otherwise unable to work, severe joint pain, including knee pain, was cited by 46% and 52% respectively.
Types of Knee Injuries
The knee is one of the body’s largest and most complicated joints. It doesn’t just facilitate movement; it also supports your weight. This complexity means knee injuries come in many forms.
- Patellar fracture. The patella or kneecap is at risk of fracture due to a direct blow or high impact fall.
- Knee dislocation. This happens when the bones of the knee are moved out of place, usually after a car accident or serious fall.
- ACL injuries. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the upper and lower leg bones in place and stabilizes the knee. ACL tears are very common in sports and car accidents and may be incredibly serious.
- PCL injuries. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) connects the shinbone to the femur and keeps the shinbone in place. A PCL tear is usually not as serious as an ACL tear.
- Collateral ligament injuries. This ligament is often torn when the lower half of the leg is forced to the side.
- Torn meniscus. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee joint that absorbs shock while running and stabilizes the knee. Changing direction while moving at high speeds, turning the knee in the wrong direction with too much force, or sports that involve jumping can cause a meniscal tear.
- Torn patellar tendon. This tendon helps keep the leg straight. Depending on the severity of the tear, it may require weeks of stress and physical therapy or surgery.
All knee injuries can be very serious and disabling. While some injuries heal with rest and physical therapy, others require surgical intervention. All injuries may also have long-term effects that aren’t seen for years, even after a seemingly full recovery.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a Knee Injury?
Joint injuries often have serious and lasting consequences. Cartilage, once damaged or worn down, cannot be repaired by the body. The knees also bear the body’s weight which makes injuries particularly painful.
Chronic pain is one of the most serious and lasting consequences of a knee injury. This pain can be hard to treat and pain medication may cause additional health issues and dependency.
A knee injury can also cause post-traumatic knee arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA), a form of arthritis caused by damage to the cartilage following a tear or fracture. Knee injuries are a major risk factor for the development of OA and accelerated knee degeneration. In young people, a knee injury increases the risk of future knee OA sixfold.
The pain and degeneration following a knee injury can be debilitating and disabling. Many people are left unable to return to work following a serious knee injury. Sometimes the full effects are not apparent for many years after a traumatic injury.
What Causes Knee Injuries?
Knee injuries are usually the result of bending or twisting force to the knee or a direct blow. Some people are at a higher risk of suffering a knee injury than others, including people who play high-impact sports, those with osteoporosis, and those who perform repetitive tasks like bending and lifting.
Knee injuries are a very common sports-related injury. They can also be age-related or happen by simply twisting the knee too far. Many knee injuries, however, are the result of accidents.
Common causes of knee injuries include the following.
- Knee striking the dashboard or steering wheel which causes direct impact
- Dislocated or fractured kneecap due to the force of the crash
- Sudden twisting or turning of the knee causes ligaments to tear
These traumatic knee injuries can cause fractures, tears, and strains.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slips and falls are one of the most common causes of work-related injuries, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries in the United States. Knee injuries are also a common consequence of a slip and fall as you are likely to land directly on your knee.
A fall can cause the knee to twist unnaturally and damage the ACL. The force of a fall and direct impact to the knee can also fracture or dislocate the kneecap. A meniscus tear may also happen when the knee is suddenly twisted or jerked while the foot remains in the same position.
Slip and fall injuries are one of the most common work-related injuries and the knee is one of the most common body parts injured. Overuse injuries are also common on the job. Overuse injury to the knee can cause ligament tears or sprains, torn cartilage, and tendon or muscle damage. Occupations that require a lot of bending, lifting, or standing increase the risk of a knee injury.
Defective Medical Device
Sadly, some knee injuries are due to defective medical devices, particularly defective knee implants like the Zimmer Persona implant. Between 2014 and 2017, there were recalls on over 250,000 knee implant parts and tools used in surgery.
These defective products may wear out sooner than they should or require patients to undergo revision surgery after replacements loosened and caused painful symptoms.
What Is My Knee Injury Case Worth?
The value of a personal injury case depends on many factors. At the very least, your case is worth the value of your medical bills and other economic damages. Non-economic losses like pain and suffering are highly personal and subjective.
To determine how much your case may be worth, we will consider:
- Insurance coverage available
- Whether you contributed to your accident
- Circumstances of your accident
- Whether your injuries are disfiguring, disabling, and/or permanent
- Type and severity of injuries
The only way to determine the value of your case is through a thorough assessment. Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney to discuss your claim.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Knee Injury in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma?
You may be entitled to non-economic and economic damages for your knee injury if your case is successful. The purpose of these damages is to (a) make you as whole as you were before your accident and (b) compensate for personal losses that don’t have a set financial value.
Knee injury victims may recover money for:
- Current medical bills
- Future reasonable medical care related to the injuries
- Lost wages while recovering
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to work
- Non-economic losses like mental anguish, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life
Rare personal injury cases are eligible for punitive damages. These damages may be awarded by a jury if your injury was caused by the defendant’s gross negligence, intentional wrongdoing, or reckless disregard for human life.
Experienced personal injury lawyers in Oklahoma City will help you fight for the full compensation you deserve from the negligent party.
How Long Do I Have to File a Knee Injury Lawsuit in Oklahoma?
The Oklahoma statute of limitations to file an injury lawsuit is two years. If you do not file your knee injury case before this deadline is up, you lose your legal right to compensation from the negligent party.
Do not allow delays to weaken or threaten your rightful claim. Contact McGuire Law Firm as soon as possible to preserve your claim and begin building your case.
Contact an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Have you suffered a serious knee injury in Oklahoma City, OK?
If your injury was work-related or due to an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer can help you pursue the fair compensation you deserve through workers’ comp or from the at-fault party.
McGuire Law Firm has been serving Oklahoma City accident victims for decades. Our award-winning lawyers have over 60 years of combined legal experience. Call our law firm at (405) 513-5658 for a free consultation today to discuss your case and how we can help.