Slip-and-fall accidents can also cause serious injuries to the knee. If you sustained severe knee injuries from falling on concrete, please know that you can call one of our Eason & Tambornini construction accident lawyers anytime for help in seeking compensation. Our lawyers can explain to you what some of the common knee injuries from falling are, why you developed knee pain after a fall on concrete, what a contusion of the knee is, and how you treat a bruised knee. We regularly handle traumatic injury cases, so if you have any questions about slip-and-fall accidents, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Eason & Tambornini lawyers to arrange a meeting.
Usually, walking from one place to another is an easy and safe experience that most of us do not even think about. Some people appear to be unlucky such that something that should be safe and easy actually ends up injuring them. But luck actually has very little to do with it because, in many cases, it is actually caused by the negligence of a premise owner, who allows a state of disrepair or poor maintenance to continue. As such, these environments are unsafe and just waiting for an accident to happen. Unfortunately, until somebody slips, trips or falls, very little will be done about it.
But when you fall on concrete and hurt your knee, the material seems like nothing less than a dangerous surface that has caused you pain. You might even end up being incapacitated or needing surgical treatment because of falling on concrete.
Falls are a normal part of life, and if you work in an active job, you may be at risk of falls more often. And while most of us can get up and go about our day with no problem, some falls can cause more serious injuries. In particular, knee injuries from falling are common and problematic.
If you’ve fallen recently and your knee is bothering you, you may need to see a doctor. Read on to learn about some of the most common knee injuries from falling.
- ACL Injuries
- PCL Injuries
- Tendon Tears
- Meniscal Tears
So let’s find out about the types of knee injuries from falling on concrete, how you can avoid them, and how to deal with them if and when they occur.
Knee Injuries From Falling on Concrete
Sprains happen when the knee’s ligaments are stretched beyond their capabilities during a slip or fall. This can happen regardless of which direction someone is falling in. Usually, a sprain happens as a result of a very sudden movement. The symptoms that people usually experience when they have strained their knee include stiffness, pain, bruising and swelling. This can be quite debilitating. The injury can be very severe and many need surgery, particularly if the ligaments were actually torn. In many cases, people will feel and/or hear a pop in their knee when the sprain happens.
Virtually everyone has had a knee abrasion at some point—usually from concrete.
These injuries are sometimes called “scraped” or “skinned” knees. And, while they’re painful and messy, they’re superficial wounds that usually form a big scab and eventually heal by themselves.
Most knee abrasions are minor wounds. However, they need to be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water, and an over-the-counter disinfectant should also be applied. Keep an eye on the injury, and call the doctor if any problems arise.
Broken Bones and Fractures
There are several bones in your knees that you may break when you fall, including the patella (knee cap), shin bone (the tibial plateau), and thigh bone (femur). The latter two are more common when you fall on concrete from high up. It is more common to break the kneecap if your knee is at a 90-degree angle when you fall, which means it took your full body weight.
If the bones of your knee get out of place, that’s called a dislocation. If you have some sort of abnormal knee structure, you could dislocate your knees on a regular basis. But assuming your knees are normal, falling down could cause you to dislocate your knee.
Tendons attach muscles to bone. In your knee, the quadriceps tendon and the patella tendon connect your thigh and shin muscles to your kneecap. Both tendons are at risk of tearing in a hard fall.
When a tendon tears, you may feel a pop, followed by pain and swelling. You may not be able to straighten your knee. Repairing a torn tendon may require surgery and physical therapy.
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury happens when the knee bends unnaturally backwards, when it twists, or when it jerks from side to side. An ACL injury can be partial or complete. An avulsion can also occur, which is the most painful of all and happens when there is a full twist in the ligament itself. In most cases, people who experience an ACL injury will feel and/or hear a pop in the knee at the time of the injury. As with most knee problems, pain and swelling can occur and movement will be limited.
Knee injuries are very serious. They are incredibly painful and usually mean that people are unable to return to their usual lives for a long time. This also means that they are unable to work, leading to significant loss of income. Furthermore, most knee injuries are treated non-surgically first, meaning many visits to physicians and physiotherapists are needed. If this doesn’t work, patients will need to go through surgery, followed by a significant period of rehabilitation. During all this time, returning to work will be all but impossible.
The psychological effects of falling and injuring a knee can also not be denied. Upon being born, human beings have just two fears: loud noises and falling. Most of us overcome both these fears. However, if a fall does happen and it has significant consequences in terms of injuries, the psychological effects can be severe. Indeed, the National Center for Biotechnology Information has published a quantitative study on the psychological impact of falling in elderly people in particular, in whom the injuries are also often most severe. They found that these people often rebuild their fear of falling, often to the point that they start to experience social isolation and withdrawal.
A contusion (better known as a bruise) might accompany other injuries from a hard fall on the knee. Contusions occur when a damaged capillary or blood vessel leaks into the area around it, often leading to skin discoloration.
Often, a scraped knee will also show bruising since concrete scrapes the knee but whacks it hard, too. Bruises come from blood beneath the skin’s surface, so it’s fair to say that a scraped knee probably needs to be taken more seriously than it is.
Contusions can happen to both muscles and bones—although muscle contusions are more common and more visible. Bone contusions lie far beneath the skin and are characterized by:
- Joint stiffness
- Swelling of the area
- Tenderness near the contusion
- Difficulty bending or using the affected area
- Pain that outlasts that of a superficial bruise
Although muscle bruises tend to run their course over days and with few or no complications, bone bruises take longer to heal. Bed rest with elevation and ice packs can help.
A laceration is a technical term for cuts or punctures. This would happen if you fall and hit your knee against something sharp. Lacerations can be minor, but they may also be serious if the cut is deep and involves heavy bleeding.
Your posterior cruciate ligament is another one of those rubber band-like ligaments that keeps your knee moving the way it should. This ligament can get injured when your knee is bent and gets hit hard from the front.
PCL tears are usually partial and can heal on their own, unlike ACL tears, which often require surgery to replace the ligament.
Four ligaments in the knee are especially vulnerable to sprains or tears. They are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral cruciate ligament (LCL), and medial cruciate ligament (MCL). Together, the ACL and PCL connect your thigh and shin bones and control the forward and backward motion of your knee. Your LCL and MCL are found on the sides of your knee and control sideways motion.
A ligament sprain or tear may cause you to feel a popping sensation. You will also experience pain and swelling and may discover that your knee is wobbly or unstable.
Ligaments will not heal on their own. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to have surgery to repair a torn knee ligament. As you recover, you might have to wear a knee brace and limit certain activities.
A Strain or Mild Sprain
A muscle strain occurs when a muscle or the tendon attaching it to a bone has been overstretched or slightly torn. Such injuries might result from either repetitive movement or a one-time injury like an unnatural twisting of the joint. Strains are often confused with sprains.
The difference between sprains and strains is that the former involves a ligament (which connects bones), and the latter affects a tendon (which connects muscle to bone). A mild strain typically involves a slightly torn ligament. Sprains happen when joints are contorted by force.
Your meniscus is cartilage that cushions, separates, and supports the tibia and femur. This type of knee injury can happen with falls, but it is more common with sharp movements. If the tear is serious, it may require surgery.
Your meniscus is a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage that helps to cushion your knee joint. A sudden fall with a twisting motion may cause a tear in your meniscus. Although you might feel a pop, you may still be able to walk following a meniscus tear, but you may experience worsening pain and swell over the course of the next few days.
You may or may not require surgery to treat a torn meniscus. An orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your injury and take your activity level into consideration when suggesting a course of treatment.
Learn More About Knee Injuries from Falling
There are a number of common knee injuries from falling that could cause you problems. If you’ve recently experienced a fall and your knee hurts or feels unsteady, go see your knee doctor. You don’t want to let something like a torn ACL or a dislocation go untreated.
If you have a knee injury, get in touch with us at Injured Call Today. We can help you find a doctor and book an appointment, as well as manage things like slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, and worker’s comp injuries.
How to Treat Knee Injuries From Falling
The treatment for your knee injury will depend entirely on the severity of the injury. Rest and ice may be enough for minor injuries, while major ones may require surgery. The following are some potential treatments:
Rest and Ice
As mentioned, minor injuries will frequently heal fine with just some rest and ice. This will also help with inflammation and pain. Ideally, you should ice your knee for about 15 or 20 minutes, with three to four hours between icing sessions.
You may also want to take over-the-counter medicines to help with inflammation and pain.
Putting the Knee in Place After Dislocation
In the case of dislocated knees, your doctor will have to pop it back into place. Leave this to the professionals as it requires careful and exact movements.
Braces or Casts
If you break a bone, tear a tendon, or have certain other types of knee injuries, you may need to wear a cast or brace.
Physical therapy can help you bring your strength back up after an injury and regain your normal range of motion.
If you tear a tendon or ligament, you may need an orthopedic surgeon to fix it.