Knee injuries in motor vehicle accidents are often called dashboard knee injuries because the person slips beneath the car restraints and slams their knees on the dashboard. There are many knee injuries that can occur in a dashboard injury. The patient can fracture their patella, the small disc shaped bone that covers the knee structures or can develop chondromalacia or a softening and damage to the cartilage beneath the patella. You’ll often feel an achy knee as well as a grinding sensation when you walk with the knee. There can be ruptures of several ligaments within the knee, such as the ACL, MCL, LCL or PCL ligaments. The knee may become unstable and surgery may be necessary.
Common symptoms of knee injuries include a popping sensation in the knee, either at the time of injury or when you bend it later, redness, bruising or swelling of the knee, tingling of the knee, grinding or locking from pieces of cartilage being free floating or ripped within the knee, feeling unstable when you walk, or a deformity of the knee (in severe cases).