The human body moves in unnatural ways when involved in a bicycle accident. Typically, a bicyclist will be thrown into the handlebars, ground, or another hard object during a crash. As a result of colliding into a rigid object like the hood of a car or car door, a bicyclist can suffer many different injuries.
While bicyclists often suffer head and facial injuries in crashes, the most common non-fatal injuries are often to their lower extremities. For example, a rider’s knee may break his or her fall in a crash, likely causing a painful knee injury. One of the most common types of knee injuries victims of bicycle accidents sustain is a meniscus tear.
When the meniscus tears, it causes cartilage damage. This is why meniscus tears are referred to as cartilage tears. Unfortunately, this type of knee injury can be very painful and cause a victim the inability to put weight on his or her affected leg. The reason? The function of the meniscus is to act as shock absorbers and help distribute weight across the knee joint. When it is torn, the cartilage that is located on the outside and inside of the knee can no longer support the knee properly.
The Seriousness of Torn Cartilage Injuries
If you cannot put weight on your knee after a bicycle accident, if your knee gives way, or if your knee locks up, you may have suffered a cartilage injury. Another sign that cartilage damage has occurred is swelling in the knee. When damage to the meniscus happens, it is very common that injuries to other knee structures have also occurred. Some of those injuries include an MCL tear, ACL tear, knee cap injury, tibia fracture, and femur fracture.
Any of these types of injuries can be serious and result in arthroscopic surgery, time on crutches, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and months off of work. Not only do injured bicyclists suffer pain and miss out on their normal activities due to loss of function, but they may also lose out on earning wages.
If you have suffered a cartilage injury in a bicycle accident or other type of knee or lower extremity injury, you should order a free copy of our book, What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck, or Bike Accident.