The bones in the human body are connected to each other by ligaments. The anterior cruciate ligament ("ACL") is one of the main ligaments in your knee. Three separate bones combine to form the knee - the shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (femur) connect with the kneecap (patella) in front like a shield. These bones are connected and stabilized by 4 separate ligaments. The collateral ligaments are on either side of the knee and they act like walls holding everything together on the sides. The cruciate ligaments (the ACL and the PCL) are inside in the middle of the knee and they control back and forward movement. The ACL and the PCL cross each other in an X formation with the ACL in front and the PCL in back.ACL Injuries
Like all ligaments the ACL can be injured by stress or trauma such as:
- Sudden awkward stopping
- Rapid change of direction
- Landing from a jump or fall
- Impact from a collision like a car accident
Injuries to the ACL are generally classified as either partial tears or complete tears. With a sprain or partial tear the ligament is damaged but still intact. A complete tear of ACL occurs when the ligament is actually split in two and is not able to hold the knee together. A torn ACL is actually more common than a partially torn ACL.
A torn ACL is an injury that occurs suddenly and the symptoms are usually immediate. Sometimes when the ligament tears it will actually make a popping noise followed by immediate pain and loss of normal movement / control. The initial tear will be followed by swelling and pain. In most cases a doctor can diagnose a torn ACL based on just a physical examination of the knee. An MRI is sometimes used to confirm the diagnosis or evaluate the extent of the tear.Treatment for ACL Tear
Once an ACL is torn it will never actually heal and repair itself without surgery. There are non-surgical treatment options which involve physical therapy and sometimes use of a knee brace. With non-surgical treatment alone, however, the knee will never be restored to its pre-injury state. As a result, non-surgical treatment is usually only for older patients who don't necessarily care about restoring full mobility.
Surgical treatment is the only way to actually heal a torn ACL and fully restore the knee. A torn ACL usually cannot be stitched backed together like skin or other tissue. The ACL must be surgically reconstructed with placement of a tissue graft. The graft implant provides the ACL with a structure to regrow onto - sort of like ivy growing up a wall. Physical therapy and months of rehab and recovery are needed after surgical restoration.Torn ACL Lawsuits
A torn ACL is a common injury in many accidents. In a car accident, the sudden force of the collision can often put the knee under acute stress particularly when the driver or passengers use their legs to brace against the impact. Another type of accident that can often result in a torn ACL is a typical slip and fall on a slippery floor. When you suddenly lose balance on a slippery surface your knees will often be twisted or bent with enough force to tear an ACL. Bicycle collisions and a variety of workplace accidents can also cause ACL tears.
Tearing an ACL can be a serious and painful injury that will involve months of recovery. As mentioned above, reconstructive surgery is almost always required to repair a torn ACL followed by months of rehab and physical therapy. Aside of the pain and discomfort, recovering from an ACL tear can also have a financial impact if you are sidelined from work.
If you tear an ACL in accident caused by someone else's negligent you have every right to demand compensation for your medical expenses, financial loses, and pain and suffering. In many cases you might be able to get compensated without filing a lawsuit or going to court. Our firm has obtained financial compensation for torn ACLs on behalf of numerous clients.Verdicts & Settlements
Below are sample verdicts and settlements for cases involving ACL tears.
Levine v. Gersham (Pa. 2017): Plaintiff was sitting in her parked car when struck by defendant when backing out. Plaintiff was awarded $5,000 for torn ACL.
Conti v. Zisk Properties LLC (Pa. 2016): Plaintiff sued her landlord when she slipped and fell in the basement of her rental unit resulting in an ACL tear. She was awarded $30,000 but the award was reduced to $16,500 based on her comparative negligence.
Cox v. Worley (Md. 2015): Plaintiff in this case was awarded $54,000 for a torn ACL and MCL caused when she was knocked over by an unleased dog.
Calloway v. Anthony (Md. 2015): Plaintiff struck by defendant's car while walking the street and tore her ACL and MCL in her right knee. She was awarded $93,000 nearly half of which was for past medical expenses.
If you suffered a torn ACL or similar injury in an accident, contact our personal injury lawyers at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and let you know whether you might be entitled to financial compensation.