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Joint Injuries in Car Accidents

neck injury from auto accident

A car accident generates tremendous force. As a result, many motorists suffer broken bones and are in a great deal of pain following a collision.

Joint injuries do not receive as much attention as fractures, but they can be just as devastating for the person trying to recover. The jaw, neck, elbow, knee, and ankle can all suffer damage in a crash, requiring many thousands of dollars in ongoing medical treatment and interfering with work and day-to-day life.

Jaw Injury

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows the mouth to open and close. Any hard impact can damage the joint, which will leave you in a lot of pain and make talking and eating difficult. Each person has two of these joints, on either side of the head, and one or both can be injured in a crash.

Neck Injury (Whiplash)

Many people are familiar with whiplash, which occurs when the accident forces the head forward before it snaps back. These exaggerated motions end up injuring the ligaments in the neck and upper back. Nerves might also be affected, which can cause unending pain.

Whiplash symptoms might not develop for 24 hours, so be on the lookout for the following:

●     Stiff neck

●     Headache

●     Nausea

●     Disrupted sleep

●     Pain in the shoulders and/or lower back

●     Trouble concentrating 

If you notice any of these symptoms, get to a doctor. Often, whiplash can be treated with massage, light stretching exercises, and pain medication and can clear up in a few months. However, severe whiplash might leave you in pain for six months or longer.

Elbow Dislocation

An elbow can be dislocated when the radial head is jammed or struck. This head connects the radius bone in the arm to the elbow. If the radius has been forced out of place, then the radial head will not be able to move. To treat a dislocation, a patient needs a doctor to reposition the radius bone.

Dislocations can also cause damage to other soft tissue around the elbow, including nerves. A compressed nerve should be treated immediately before the nerve suffers permanent damage.

Knee Injuries

The knee has two ligaments that are vital to proper functioning: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior collateral ligament (PCL). Both can be damaged in a car accident, leaving many motorists immobile.

The PCL, located behind the knee, keeps the shin bone from moving too far. If you hit your bent knee on the dashboard, then the PCL can be damaged and might require surgery.

The ACL, which holds the shin bone in place, can also be injured in a crash. The ACL cannot heal without medical intervention, so surgery is typically required, followed by a recovery period.

Ankle Injuries

The ankle is an intricate part of the body where three bones meet—the tibia, fibula, and talus. Any one of these bones could fracture, making it impossible to put any weight on the ankle or to even flex it.

Broken ankles often take a long time to heal. Some injured victims will need surgery, and you should avoid putting weight on the ankle for months. Many patients struggle with walking and pain for years afterwards.

Contact Us Today

After an auto accident, you need an experienced Brooklyn accident attorney in your corner. At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates, we help injured motorists get the compensation they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We are a top 1% firm with numerous favorable verdicts for our clients.

To schedule a free consultation, please call us today, 718-407-4123.


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