accident causes acl knee surgery, Auto Accident ACL tear

Auto Accident ACL Tear

Doug Goyen, AttorneyAttorney Goyen has been handling personal injury litigation since 1997 and is a licensed Texas personal injury lawyer. We represent clients who need the services of a Dallas car accident attorney. Thousands of personal injury lawsuits have been settled by our firm, and our clients have received millions of dollars in payments. For our clients, we have aggressive, experienced, and powerful representation. You can depend on us to obtain the compensation you are entitled to in your case. You don’t have to pay anything until we win!

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What is an ACL tear? An ACL tear is a severe knee injury. It’s one of the knee’s four big ligaments. It runs diagonally down the middle of the knee, preventing the upper and lower legs from colliding (keeping the lower leg from sliding out from the femur). It also gives the knee rotational stability.

Is it possible for an ACL tear to occur as a result of a car accident? Yes, indeed. Without a doubt. ACL tears are caused by a sudden extreme twisting or hyper-extending of the leg/knee during an auto accident. A sprain, strain, or broken ACL is the most common knee injury sustained in a car accident. Do not let an insurance adjuster tell you that it cannot happen. 

Sports accidents, trauma, car crashes, falls, rough landings, abrupt changes in direction, stiff-legged landings, knee rotating on landing, planting your foot into the ground very hard when cutting to the opposite direction, landing flat on your heels, all of these things can cause ACL injury.

Sources indicating ACL injuries occur in auto accidents: 

Countryside Orthopaedics  . . . “ACL tears have numerous causes, including hyperextension of your leg, twisting your knee, sudden changes in direction, hard and direct contact to the knee, or a sudden stop in movement. Car accidents, work injuries, falls, and sports, are some common situations that can lead to an ACL tear.”

Jorge Chahla, MD, PHD . . . “Other causes include contact injuries, falls, or other traumatic accidents.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine . . . “The ligament can also tear due to work injuries or automobile accidents.”

US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health . . . “nearly half of the patients in their cohort sustained a knee injury following pedestrian versus motor vehicle accidents and 22% of those knee injuries were ligamentous in nature” . . .

Sterling Medical Group . . . “While you might not associate a knee injury with a car accident, it’s fairly common.”

National Library of Medicine. National Center for Biotechnology Information . . . “The objective of this study is to show the characteristics of acute traumatic haemarthrosis of the knee due to road traffic accidents. A prospective study was undertaken of 47 knees in 46 road traffic accident victims (14 to 74 years old), who presented with an acute haemarthrosis of the knee over 12 months. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears occurred in 51.1 percent (24 of 47).”

Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic . . . “ACL tears are most common in athletes, though some patients tear their ACL in car accidents or falls.”

Symptoms: People normally experience a sharp pain in the knee and a “popping” feeling right away. The knee can swell and become unsteady. Within hours, there is usually a lot of swelling and some range of motion loss. When walking, there is discomfort in the joints.


Nonsurgical: Physical therapy and rehabilitation will often restore complete function to the knee without surgery. The issue is that there are usually episodes of knee instability, and those periods of instability can lead to more knee injury.

Surgical: Grafts are used to repair and build a new ACL in the knee during surgery. The following are examples of grafts:

1) Patellar tendon autograft (autograft comes from the patient): The surgeon removes a section of the patellar tendon (just below the kneecap) and uses it to surgically replace the broken ACL.

2) Hamstring tendon autograft: A portion of the patient’s hamstring (on the back of the leg) close to the knee is used to construct a new ACL.

3) Quadriceps tendon autograft: A portion of the tendon above the kneecap (closer to the quadraceps – front leg muscle near to the knee) is removed. When there has been a previous ACL reconstruction failure, this is usually done. It is a bigger graft for patients who are tall and heavy.

4) Allograft (taken from a cadaver): The patellar tendon, Achilles tendon, semitendinosus tendon, gracilis tendon, or posterior tibialis tendon are all examples of tendon structures. Allografts are taken from the body of a deceased person (cadaver). Since you aren’t cutting through two separate sections of the body to repair itself, the surgery is less painful. The procedure is therefore less time-consuming. Allografts have a number of drawbacks, including the possibility of viral transmissions such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Despite diligent screening, this happens from time to time. Bacterial infections can be fatal if they are not properly procured and sterilized. Failure rates range from 23 percent to 34 percent, compared to just 5 percent to 10% for “autografts” (where you take the material from your own body to create a new ACL).

Rehabilitation: After ACL surgery, rehabilitation usually takes 4-6 months.

If you have a torn ACL or suspect you may have one due to a car accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney to protect your rights regarding your injury, the cost of treating your injury, and other financial consequences of such a serious injury.

Call us at (972) 599 4100 to discuss your case to determine if you need a personal injury attorney, or if you should continue to handle the case without an attorney. We will discuss all the factors you need to consider in making your decision.



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