Why You May Have Leg Pain After a Milwaukee Car Accident
There are numerous reasons why you may feel pain in your legs after a car crash, from broken bones and ligament damage to blood clots. While some of these injuries just need time to heal, others could be life-threatening if you do not get immediate treatment.
PKSD’s experienced Milwaukee-based auto accident lawyers discuss leg pain after a car accident, including the common causes, other symptoms that may accompany the pain, treatment options, and what to do after the crash.
If you have any questions after suffering a leg injury in a crash, give us a call to learn how we may be able to help you. We have secured millions for victims of a variety of Milwaukee-area collisions.
No upfront legal fees. Call us to discuss your accident: 877-877-2228.
Regions of Your Leg That Could Get Injured in a Crash
High-speed or head-on collisions could cause drivers’ legs to get pinned under the dashboard, resulting in broken bones or crush injuries. A side-impact collision could cause blunt force trauma to your left knee.
Car accident leg injuries could be broken into five categories, based on the region of the leg that is affected:
- Upper leg injuries – These are any injuries to your thighs, including the femur, hamstrings, quadriceps and adductors.
- Lower leg injuries – These are injuries between your knees and your ankles. This area of your leg includes your shin bone, also called the tibia, along with the fibula, Achilles tendon and the muscles and nerves that control movement of the ankle.
- Knee injuries – Your knees are the largest joints in your entire body. Unfortunately, these joints are also the easiest to injure. The knee consists of the patella, cartilage, meniscus, two ligaments, bursa sacs and various tendons.
- Ankle injuries – Your ankle could get twisted during the crash, resulting in a break of one of the bones in this region of your leg. The talus bone in your ankle is connected to the fibula and tibia. The ankle also has medial and lateral ligaments to provide stability.
- Foot injuries – Each one of your foot has 26 bones, more than 20 muscles, 33 joints and dozens of tendons and ligaments. All these bones, muscles, joints and tendons means your feet are incredibly vulnerable to injury in a crash.
What Are the Common Reasons For Leg Pain After a Car Accident?
These are some of the common leg injuries that could be the source of your pain:
It takes a tremendous amount of force to break the femur, because it is the strongest bone in your entire body. A car crash is one type of situation that could result in enough force to cause this bone to break. It can take quite a long time for this injury to heal, because of how long the bone is.
Fractured Tibia or Fibula
These fractures are much more likely than fractures in the femur. These injuries could occur if the leg gets pinned down. You might not suffer a full break, but a hairline fracture can also be painful and take significant time to heal.
You could suffer a dislocated knee, which means bones pop out of the joint where they are supposed to sit. The surrounding tissues in the joint can also suffer damage.
The meniscus is soft cartilage that helps to allow you to put weight on the knee. If this cartilage tears, it can be very difficult to put any weight on the affected knee.
Knee Ligament Damage
The three ligaments in your knee include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – This ligament attaches the tibia and femur. Damage to your ACL makes it much harder to pivot and twist your leg.
- Posterior collateral ligament (PCL) – This is in the back of your leg and connects to the thigh bone. This is not as serious as an ACL injury, but it also inhibits movement.
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) – This ligament stabilizes the inside of the knees.
Injury to the Sciatic Nerve
Your sciatic nerve starts in your spine and goes into your thighs. If your spinal cord gets thrown out of alignment during a crash, the sciatic nerve can get pinched. This can cause shooting pain in each of your legs.
A sciatic nerve injury could result from a herniated disc in your back. The disc could get moved into a position that presses on the nerve.
Any of the bones in your ankles or feet could get broken during the collision. Your foot could get twisted around and your ankle bone could break. Your feet could also suffer crush injuries that include broken bones and muscle and ligament damage.
Blood Clot/Deep Vein Thrombosis
When your legs suffer trauma, there is a possibility of a blood clot developing. These clots could also form after surgery is done to treat your injury.
Bruising or Lacerations
Many people dismiss bruises as minor injuries, but bruises from a car crash can be dangerous. They need to be treated right away to prevent the development of severe side effects.
Lacerations are deep cuts that likely require stitches. These injuries could allow infections to develop if they are not treated correctly.
What Are Some Symptoms of a Leg Injury After a Car Crash?
Pain is one of the most notable symptoms of a leg injury. Right leg or left leg pain after a car crash likely indicates some type of injury to the bones or soft tissues of your legs. Examples of the pain you may experience in your legs include:
- Pain that burns – You may feel a burning sensation in the back and front of your leg or the site of the injury.
- Sharp pain when you use your leg – For example, you may feel pain when you put weight on your knee or ankle. Shifting your weight around could also be painful. The pain could be especially pronounced when you stand up.
- Shooting pain – This could be an indication of a sciatic nerve injury, as the pain is shooting down your legs, which is where the sciatic nerve runs.
There are many other symptoms that may indicate a leg injury:
- Instability, which may indicate a knee injury or broken bone in your leg, particularly in your knee
- Clicking or popping sounds when you use a joint
- Numbness or pins and needles, which is an indicator that you have nerve damage in your leg
- Stiffness, which may be because of joint damage
- Weakness, particularly when trying to walk
- Bruising at the site of the injury
- And more
If the pain and other symptoms you feel soon after the crash start to improve, you may not have a significant injury. However, if you experience chronic pain or other long-lasting symptoms, you should get to the doctor right away.
What Are My Treatment Options if I Have Leg Pain After a Crash?
Your diagnosis will inform the treatment of your car accident leg injury. For example, if you break a bone, doctors may be able to set it and put a cast on it until the bone comes back together. However, more severe broken bone injuries may require the insertion of screws or plates to help the bones heal. You may need to take anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce pain and swelling. You may also benefit from corticosteroid injections.
How Do Doctors Treat Damaged Ligaments?
In some cases, victims may need surgery to repair or replace the ligament. More often, however, doctors advise patients to apply ice and compression to help reduce swelling, keep the leg elevated and avoid putting weight on it.
How Do Doctors Treat a Damaged Tendon?
Doctors may use a cast or brace to keep the tendon from moving to promote healing. Sometimes surgery is the only way to repair the tendon. Pain medications and cold compression may also be prescribed.
How Do Doctors Treat a Nerve Injury?
Some of the potential treatments for a nerve injury include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Steroid injections
- Topical ointments
- Decompression of nerves
- Physical therapy to promote stability and increase strength in the affected area
Do You Have a Car Crash Leg Injury? Call PKSD For Legal Help
Do you have leg pain after a car crash? Are you unsure what to do next or how you are going to pay your medical bills?
Call PKSD to learn how our licensed attorneys may be able to assist you during this challenging time. We have been advocating for the injured in Wisconsin for decades, and have a proven history of getting results. We have recovered millions for our clients, and we are prepared to seek the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.
We know how to build strong cases for crash victims. We are also fully prepared to represent you if your case ends up in court because your insurance company refuses to increase its offer.
Free consultation. No upfront legal fees. Call PKSD: 877-877-2228.