Slip and Fall: Most Common Types of Knee Injury Cases
People slip and fall all the time. Most “slip and falls” lead to minor injuries or no injuries at all. However, when a slip and fall incident results in an injury, it’s often a knee injury. When an individual is involved in a slip and fall accident, the knee may twist unnaturally, or they may fall and land on their knee; both situations can result in significant damage to the knee. Many of the most common types of knee injury cases can leave the injured party unable to work while facing significant medical bills.
Four Types of Knee Injuries Common After a Slip and Fall Accident:
While every knee injury is unique, and no two slip and fall accidents are the same, four types of common knee injuries frequently occur due to a slip and fall resulting in significant medical treatment and time off work.
- Bone Fractures
- Muscle/Tendon Sprains
- Torn Ligaments
- ACL Injuries
When a Slip and Fall Results in a Bone Fracture Knee Injury:
Kneecap (or patella) fractures account for a small percentage of all bone fractures (about 1%), but they can be severe. If the patella is not displaced, the fracture is usually treated with a cast or brace to keep their knee straight. The injured party must keep all weight off the injured leg until the bone heals, which takes six to eight weeks. If the bone is displaced, it may require surgery. Muscles connected to the patella are powerful, so they can easily pull broken bones apart. Several months of physical therapy may be necessary following surgery before putting weight back on the leg. This type of injury may also result in chronic pain, muscle weakness long after the surgery, and increased chances of developing arthritis.
When a Slip and Fall Results in Muscle or Tendon Sprains:
Muscle or tendon sprain injuries are common after slip and fall incidents since they occur when a ligament is stretched beyond its capabilities. Stressed, but not torn, the tendon sprain leads to pain, stiffness, bruising, and swelling. Injured parties dealing with a muscle or tendon sprain need rest while icing, compressing, and elevating their injury. For severe muscle or tendon sprains, a brace may be necessary to immobilize the injured knee during recovery.
When a Slip and Fall Accident Results in Torn Ligaments:
Sometimes during a slip and fall accident, you may tear the ligaments in your knee. For instance, when you twist your knee, but the foot remains stationary, the meniscus may tear. Some torn ligaments heal on their own, but a significant tear may require surgery to remove cartilage from the knee, which can lead to permanent damage to the knee. A meniscus tear can be very painful and accompanied by extensive swelling. The injured party may be unable to move the injured knee until recovered.
When a Slip and Fall Accident Results in ACL Injuries:
Another common slip and fall injury is the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury. The ACL injury generally occurs when the knee bends backward unnaturally. The backward movement of the knee can damage the ACL. During a slip and fall, the injured party may twist their knee unnaturally and hear a popping sound in their knee. The popping sound is an indication that you have damaged your ACL. An ACL injury is excruciating and results in severely limited knee mobility. ACL injuries often require surgery and a long time in recovery.