Knee Surgery After a Car Accident: Really Needed?

Knees sometimes take the worst hit in a car crash. "Do I need surgery?" is a quick question that pops in. We get it – it can be quite overwhelming.
Knee Surgery After a Car Accident: Really Needed?
Published Date
August 12, 2023

Car crashes can really do a number on our bodies, and you know what? Our knees sometimes take the worst hit in this battle of the road.

"Do I need surgery?" is a quick question that pops in. We get it – it can be quite overwhelming. So, let's break it down. 

Common Knee Injuries in Car Accidents:

  • Knee Laceration: Cuts on the knee, often courtesy of broken glass or those sneaky sharp objects lurking around. 
  • Ligament Tears: Your knee's trusty sidekicks, like the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), MCL (medial collateral ligament) or PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) might snap from sudden stops, leaving your knee feeling wobbly.
  • Meniscus Tear: Your knee's cushion, the meniscus, can tear under pressure. That's your cue for pain and limited moves.
  • Patellar Fracture: Your kneecap could crack under direct impact, leading to a "kneeding" of surgery.

Is Knee Surgery After a Car Accident Necessary?

Well, it depends. Post diagnosis (think X-rays, CT scan, MRI), surgery’s on the table when other treatments like rest and therapy aren't cutting it or when the knee injury is waving a big red flag. Factors like the injury's type, how bad it is, your age, overall health, and what you want to do with that knee (aside from walking) are all parts of this choice.

Common Knee Surgical Procedures Include:

  • Arthroscopic Knee Surgery:

Small incisions, big results! Here, surgeons use tiny incisions and a tiny camera (arthroscope) that guides them to mend torn meniscus, ligaments, cartilage, and remove loose bone fragments.

  • ACL/MCL/ PCL Reconstruction:

Time to stitch up that torn ACL, MCL, or PCL with a graft (either using the patient's tendon or a donor tendon) so your knee can groove again!

  • Knee Replacement: The Full (Sometimes Partial) Reboot

Ever wished you could hit the reset button on your knee? Total knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty) is the answer. Surgeons replace the entire knee, swapping in an artificial one, designed to bring back mobility and reduce pain.

Sometimes, only part of the knee needs a makeover. Unicompartmental (partial) knee replacement surgery focuses on the damaged area, preserving the healthy bits.


So, if you suspect a knee injury from a car accident, don't just drive on – hit the brakes and get yourself to an orthopedic doc who won't straight up push for surgery but will steer you towards what's best post diagnosis (a.k.a. the orthopedic doctors at HEMA!). Drop us a line!

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