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Top 5 Leg Injuries from Car Accidents

Jan 10, 2024

Top 5 Leg Injuries from Car AccidentsIn the aftermath of car accidents, people often grapple with a myriad of physical injuries, and among the most prevalent are leg injuries. A car accident can lead to severe trauma that impacts the lower extremities and, in some cases, alters lives forever. Let’s look at the top 5 leg injuries resulting from car accidents, shedding light on their causes, symptoms, and potential long-term consequences. Understanding these injuries is crucial for creating awareness about the importance of road safety measures and accident prevention and ensuring you get the treatment and care you deserve.

Have you experienced one of the top 5 leg injuries from a car accident? The orthopedic specialists at AICA Atlanta can help you heal and recover.

Why Leg Injuries Are Common with Car Accidents

Leg injuries are not uncommon in car accidents because of how and where you are seated in the vehicle. The position of the legs and the vehicle’s structure can make your lower extremities more vulnerable. Upon impact, the force can propel the legs into the dashboard, steering wheel, or other hard surfaces within the vehicle. Additionally, the rapid deceleration or sudden changes in direction during a collision can lead to a range of leg injuries. The lower limbs are particularly exposed to trauma as they may be twisted, crushed, or impacted by debris within the vehicle. Car accidents can be such a shocking and even traumatic event that you might not even realize the extent of your injuries right away.

Top 5 Leg Injuries from Car Accidents

Here are the top 5 leg injuries people suffer from car accidents every day.


During a car accident, the sudden impact can cause the body to collide with various surfaces inside the vehicle. The forceful contact can result in bruising on the legs, especially if they strike against the dashboard, door, or other hard surfaces. Bruising is characterized by discoloration of the skin, ranging from red to purple or black. You may also experience pain and tenderness in the area where the bruising occurs. While mild bruising can go away with time, more severe bruising that occurs with swelling and difficulty moving or bearing weight can be a sign of a more serious underlying injury.

2.Cuts & Scrapes

Broken glass, metal shards, or other debris within the vehicle can cause cuts and scrapes during a collision. These injuries often occur when the impact leads to shattered windows or damaged vehicle components. Visible cuts or abrasions on the skin, potential bleeding, pain, and swelling. Depending on the severity, medical attention may be necessary to close wounds and prevent infection. Deep cuts can also impact healthy muscles and other tissues, requiring a doctor’s attention.

3.Pulled Muscle

Sudden acceleration or deceleration in a car accident can strain or pull muscles in the legs. You may instinctively brace for impact, leading to rapid tensing and contracting of leg muscles. The forceful movements of a car accident can lead to overstretching and damage to muscle tissues. Pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and muscle spasms are all symptoms of a pulled leg muscle. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) may be recommended for mild cases, while more severe pulled muscles may require medical intervention.

4.Knee Damage

Damage to one or both knees is also common with a car accident. Damage to ligaments or the meniscus in the knee can lead to destabilization in the knee, so you may not be able to bear weight on the knee and leg. Whether the knee is struck from the side or along the front of the kneecap, pain, bruising, swelling, and other symptoms can indicate a serious injury that requires medical attention. An injury to the knee can significantly impact your legs because they facilitate movement, stability, and weight-bearing functions for daily activities.

5.Broken Bone

The impact of a car accident can exert tremendous force on the bones in the legs. A direct collision or forceful twisting can lead to fractures in the femur or fibula. The femur refers to the thigh bone, which is actually the longest bone in the human body. The fibula is the smaller of the two leg bones that extends from the knee to the ankle. A broken bone in the leg can refer to either of these two leg bones, typically occurring near the hip joint, along the length of the femur, or near the knee joint. Broken bones can range from hairline fractures to more severe breaks that require surgical intervention. Symptoms of a broken leg bone include intense pain, swelling, deformity, and an inability to bear weight on the affected leg.

The Importance of Prompt Medical Treatment for Car Accident Injuries

It is crucial to seek medical attention promptly after experiencing a leg injury in a car accident, especially because not all injuries are immediately apparent. Internal injuries such as fractures or soft tissue damage may not cause immediate symptoms but can worsen over time, especially if left untreated. A car accident doctor can conduct thorough examinations and diagnostic tests to uncover any hidden injuries. Getting timely treatment for car accident injuries is essential for optimal recovery. Prompt treatment can prevent complications, reduce pain and swelling, and facilitate a faster healing process. Delaying medical care may make injuries worse and lead to more severe complications.

What to Expect with Leg Injury Treatment and Recovery

What to Expect with Leg Injury Treatment and RecoveryDealing with one of these common leg injuries from car accidents is a process that will obviously vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Here are some general aspects to expect when you see a car accident doctor for a leg injury.

Diagnosis and Treatment

After the accident, the first step is a thorough medical assessment. This may involve X-rays, MRI scans, or other diagnostic tests to identify the extent of your leg injury. Your car accident doctor will then develop a treatment plan based on your specific injury, ranging from rest and pain management to surgery in severe cases.

Immobilization and Supportive Devices

Depending on the type of leg injury, you may need to immobilize the affected leg. This could involve wearing a cast, brace, or using crutches. These devices provide support, restrict movement, and promote proper healing.

Pain Management

Pain is a common aspect of leg injury recovery. Your car accident doctor may prescribe pain medications to manage discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended.

Physical Therapy

Rehabilitation through physical therapy is often a key component of leg injury recovery. Physical therapists design exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility.

Gradual Return to Activities

As your leg heals, you’ll work with your healthcare team to gradually reintroduce activities. This could involve weight-bearing exercises, walking, and eventually more strenuous activities.

Recovering from Car Accident Leg Injuries with AICA Atlanta 

Recovering from a leg injury can take time, which means both patience and persistence are crucial to helping you heal. Learn more about how our team of car accident doctors at Atlanta AICA Orthopedics works with you from diagnosis through recovery to help you heal. Our multidisciplinary team of car accident doctors includes orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists who are all dedicated to helping you experience a full recovery.


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