What is a Bumper Fracture?

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November 04, 2019
Edward Smith

What is a Bumper Fracture?

Pedestrian injuries can be serious and one example is a Bumper fracture. This is a serious injury of the tibia. This trauma takes place when the bumper of a car impacts the knee of a pedestrian who is crossing the street. The car bumper impacts the outside of the knee, forcing it inward. Because of the lack of protection between the pedestrian and the moving vehicle, this injury is always serious.

The degree of this injury can vary widely and depends largely on the speed of the vehicle. In cases where surgical repair is required, the recovery process can be prolonged. Because of this, it is a good idea for everyone to understand the basics of this injury.

The Mechanism of the Injury

When someone is crossing the street, the bumper of a vehicle is around knee-height for an adult. If someone is struck on the outside of the leg by the bumper of a car while crossing the street, the knee itself is forced inward while the tibia and fibula are forced outward. This is called valgus stress and can cause the plateau of the tibia to fracture. The tibial plateau is the top of the bone that articulates with the knee. The bumper of the car compresses the top of the tibia and leads to a fracture in the plateau. While this is not the only way that a tibial plateau fracture can occur, it is one of the most common.

The Symptoms of a Bumper Fracture

If someone has sustained a Bumper fracture, there are several symptoms that might appear. Due to a fracture in the tibial plateau, there will be extreme pain throughout the leg that is worst in the knee. The leg will also be swollen. There might be bruises present as well. This fracture will make it almost impossible for someone to walk. Furthermore, walking with this fracture might worsen the damage that is already present in the knee. The lower leg itself might also be visibly deformed as a result of the impact.

Associated Injuries Might Be Present

There are several associated symptoms that might accompany a fracture of the tibial plateau. One of the most common is a fracture of the fibula. If the impact is at a high speed, the car bumper might compress both the tibia and the fibula. This can lead to a fracture of the fibula, most commonly found in the neck of this bone.

Depending on the exact point of impact, there might also be ligament damage present in the knee. These include tears of the ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL. If these associated injuries are present, the recovery process will take longer.

Treatment of a Bumper Fracture

If someone presents with the symptoms discussed above, the doctor will need to confirm the injury using imaging scans such as an x-ray, CT scan, or an MRI. Once the injuries are confirmed, the doctor will decide whether or not the injury needs surgical repair. If the bone fragments are displaced, or if knee ligaments are torn, surgical repair will probably be required. After surgery, it will take some time for the bones to heal. Physical therapy will also be used to strengthen the muscles supporting the surgical repair. Most individuals will recover following this injury.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A Bumper fracture can take place when the bumper of a car makes contact with a pedestrian. Anyone who suffers a serious bone fracture due to the negligence of another person or entity should contact me at (800) 404-5400 and/or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.

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Attribution of Picture: The image placed at the top of this article was found originally on Pixabay & has been printed here with the permission of the Creative Commons License.

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