Las Vegas Knee Injury Attorney
The knee joint is composed of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid, plus the muscles and tendons that help the knee to move. Knee problems result from damage to any of these structures, which may be caused by an accident or by particular diseases that affect the joint.
The most common disease that harms the bones of the knee is arthritis. In some patients, as the cartilage between bones wears away with age, a person feels pain and the knees become swollen. Knee damage also can be caused by injuring the ligaments and tendons. Many of these types of injuries occur during sports activities or from motor vehicle or bicycle accidents.
Mechanical Knee Injuries
Knee problems can result from mechanical injuries. These include injuries to the bones or to the soft tissues that surround them. Injuries from accidents usually are caused by a direct strike to the knee when it slams into an automobile part or, in the case of a bicycle accident or motorcycle crash, into the ground. Sudden movements can strain the knee during sports such as football, tennis, basketball, skiing, or a number of other types of activities that might involve or result in sudden, twisting motions.
The most common cause of damage to the ligaments of the knees is a sudden, twisting motion of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Osteoarthritis produces another mechanical knee problem. Over time, the different parts of the knee can become damaged due to wear and tear. As the bones wear down, they no longer fit together properly.
Disease-Related Knee Injuries
Two diseases that can cause knee problems are rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both may produce inflammation and swelling in the joint. It is possible they can cause permanent knee damage.
SLE almost always is accompanied by joint pain and swelling. The knees are among the joints most often affected; others are the fingers, hands, and wrists. The most common disease affecting the knee bones is arthritis. The ligaments and tendons also can be injured.
Knee Injury Treatment
The pain, swelling and stiffness of some knee injuries may be helped by home treatments. These include:
- Rest and protection of the area that is sore, stopping or taking a break from the activity that is causing the pain and placing a small pillow under the knee when resting.
- Ice or cold packs right after injury to prevent or minimize swelling.
- During the initial 48 hours after an injury, avoiding hot showers, hot tubs and alcoholic beverages.
- After between 48 and 72 hours, and if the swelling has subsided, using heat and doing gentle exercises while applying moist heat should help restore function and keep the joint flexible. Some experts suggest alternating warm and cold treatments.
- Compression or wrapping the sore area with an elastic bandage (Ace wrap) to keep swelling to a minimum.
- Recognizing not to expect the bandage to stabilize a knee injury.
- Talking to the doctor if pain and swelling persists more than 72 hours to rule out a serious problem.
- Raising the injured knee on a pillow when using ice or when sitting or lying down. Trying to keep the knee above the level of the heart to cut down on swelling
- Using a cane or crutch in the hand opposite the injured knee. Crutches should be considered if using a cane makes you limp when you walk.
- Increasing blood flow by gently massaging or rubbing the injured area. If this causes any pain, stop these methods.
- Stretching the hamstring or doing knee to chest exercises can help maintain flexibility.
- Smoking decreases healing by interfering with blood supply and delaying repair of tissue; knee injury patients should stop smoking to promote healing.
- Using over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or aspirin after 48 hours has passed. If these medications are used before then, they may increase blood clotting time and cause more bruising and bleeding under the skin. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used.
If the following symptoms occur after 72 hours, call the doctor. They may indicate a more serious problem:
- Signs of infection
- The development of numbness, weakness, or tingling
- The knee, shin, or foot becomes pale, cool, or begin to look blue
- Symptoms do not begin improving
- Symptoms worsen
Compensation for Knee Injuries Caused by Negligence
Knee injuries are painful, debilitating and can cause pain and discomfort for the rest of a person’s life. When these injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, construction accidents or any other type of accident that is caused by another person’s negligence, the injured person will be eligible for compensation. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury to the knee because of someone else’s actions, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation for your suffering.
The Las Vegas personal injury lawyers of Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith represent individuals who sustain personal injuries in a number of different accidents. Whether you were injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver or if you were injured after tripping on torn carpet in a department store, you will be able to collect compensation from the person(s) responsible.