Knee injuries can be serious and lead to life-long disability, pain, and limited mobility. The knee is one of the most complex and most stressed joints of the body. This hinge-type joint connects the femur bone of the thigh to the tibia bone of the shin with a patella (kneecap) and fibula.
These bones are connected by tendons which move the muscles and ligaments that provide stability:
- The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding forward on the femur
- The PCL prevents the tibia from sliding backward onto the femur
- The MCL and LCL prevent the femur from moving side to side
There are also two C-shaped, rubbery pieces of cartilage, the menisci, which absorb shock. Bursae, fluid-filled sacs, help the joint move slowly.
An injury to any of these structures in the knee can be devastating and painful. Knee injuries can be the result of acute trauma, such as falling on your knee, or they can be caused be stress or cumulative trauma, such as frequently carrying heavy items during work.
Table of Contents
What are the Most Common Types of Knee Injuries?
A knee is composed of many different muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Therefore, a knee can suffer a variety of structural injuries. The following knee injuries are the most common:
Fractured or Bruised Kneecap
A fractured patella or broken kneecap is a painful and serious injury that can make it impossible to walk or straighten your knee. A fractured or even bruised kneecap is usually the result of a direct blow to the knee, whether it occurs in sports, a fall, or a traffic accident. Most fractured patellas require surgery to repair and restore the kneecap.
MCL or ACL Tear
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) are ligaments in the knee that connect the femur to the tibia and protect the menisci which cushions the joint. An ACL tear is a common sports injury that happens when the ligament is overextended. An MCL tear usually happens when the outer knee is struck very hard. MCL tears usually have an easier recovery than ACL tears.
The meniscus is a piece of tough cartilage that cushions the knee joint. A torn meniscus is one of the most frequent knee injuries and may tear due to sudden twisting while bearing weight on the knee.
Bursitis of the knee happens when the bursae, or fluid-filled sacs, near the knee are irritated or inflamed. Bursitis is usually caused by repetitive movements and working in positions that put pressure on the knees, such as laying floors.
Tendinitis of the patella happens when the patellar tendon connecting the patella to the shinbone becomes injured. This condition is also known as jumper’s knee and it’s an overuse knee injury common in sports and jobs that require repetitive movements.
What Causes Knee Injuries?
While knee injuries are often associated with age-related degeneration or sports injuries, many knee injuries are actually the result of traumatic accidents or blunt force trauma to the knee, including:
In a collision, passengers and drivers are often thrust forward and may strike their knee on the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surface. This may cause the patella to become fractured or dislocated. The knee can also be turned or twisted suddenly and at a bad angle which can cause injury to the meniscus, ligaments, and tendons.
Motorcyclists can suffer serious and life-changing injuries in a crash.
Because motorcyclists have no protection in an accident and are almost always thrown from their bike, knee injuries can happen when the rider is hit or when the rider impacts with the ground.
Common knee injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include kneecap fracture, ACL injury, and meniscal tears.
Between 2010 and 2016 alone, there were almost 17,000 bicycle accidents in Texas that led to almost 10,000 injuries and 362 fatalities. Bicycle accidents often lead to knee injuries when the rider’s knee breaks their fall. Many bicycle accident victims suffer a meniscus tear, ACL injury, knee dislocation, and/or a patellar fracture.
Victims of assault can be left with a range of serious injuries. Traumatic knee injuries are just one type of injury assault victims may suffer due to a direct blow to the knee or a fall.
Knee injuries on the job may occur due to repetitive stress or they can be an acute injury caused by a slip and fall, accident, or suddenly lifting, twisting, or bending. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 104,000 work-related knee injuries reported in 2014 alone.
Workers in any industry can suffer a knee injury due to repetitive stress, overuse, or accident. If you are a carpenter, mechanic, cleaner, construction worker, or need to carry a lot of weight or kneel regularly, you are at a higher risk of suffering a knee injury on the job.
Slip and Fall Accidents
A great deal of knee injuries are the result of a slip and fall. A fall can cause the knee to bend backwards unnaturally, force the knee to twist at a bad angle, force the ligaments to stretch too far, or lead to direct impact to the kneecap. Victims in a slip and fall often report knee pain from injuries like ACL tears, meniscal tears, sprains, and patellar fractures.
How Long Do I have to File a Knee Injury Lawsuit in Texas?
In Texas, there is a strict statute of limitations of just two years after the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you lose your legal right to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
If your injury occurred on the job, you have just 30 days to begin the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits and two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you wait too long to pursue your claim, critical evidence to prove your case can be lost or you can be barred from recovering anything. This is why it’s crucial to consult with an experienced knee injury lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas as soon as possible. Your injury lawyer will help you seek the lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages you deserve.
Contact a Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer
A knee injury can leave you with chronic pain and limited mobility. Your ability to work and even walk can be affected. While treatment may help, your knee may never be 100% again. When your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or it occurred on the job, the financial burden you face should not be on your shoulders.
The Fort Worth knee injury lawyer at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you fight for the full compensation you deserve. Contact our law office in Fort Worth online today, or give us a call at (817) 420-7000 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your personal injury case.