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Posterior Hip Dislocation: A Serious Car Accident Injury

Unfortunately, car accidents are a potential risk when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Sometimes, the weather can cause a car accident. Other times, it is a drunk driver who loses control and places innocent lives in danger. Whether the accident is a fender-bender or a multi-car pileup, serious injuries can place hardworking families under significant financial duress.

One of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents is a posterior hip dislocation. This injury can have serious complications if not caught early. Therefore, everyone should understand the information associated with this injury so it can be spotted as soon as symptoms develop.

A posterior hip dislocation occurs when a significant force is applied to the bottom of a foot against a locked knee. In a car accident, people often slam their brakes in an effort to avoid an accident. When they slam hard enough, they can lock their knees. If the car impacts a vehicle in front, the front of the car can crumple. This can crumple the locked leg in the process. This force is translated up the leg to the hip socket and the femur is forced out of the back of the hip socket. This is called a posterior hip dislocation.

A posterior hip dislocation is an injury with serious symptoms. Obviously, the patient will be in severe pain and unable to walk because the hip has been dislocated. In addition, patients may notice that they have numbness or tingling in certain locations along their leg. This is due to the fact that many nerves power the leg and can be damaged in a posterior hip dislocation. In addition, patients may notice serious bruising. This is a sign of internal bleeding due to a compromised femoral or internal iliac artery. This is a serious complication that constitutes a medical emergency.

The diagnosis of a posterior hip dislocation is mostly clinical. This means that most physicians will diagnose a posterior hip dislocation by noticing that one of the legs is shorter than the other and that the shorter leg has been internally rotated due to the forces of the muscles on a posteriorly dislocated hip; however, some physicians will order imaging scans to assess for other injuries, especially if there is concern for nerve or blood vessel damage that merits emergency surgery. Some of the imaging that might be performed includes in MRI or X-Ray scan.

The treatment of a posterior hip dislocation is a reduction. This will place the hip back in its socket. This almost always requires surgery because the surgeons will pin the head of the femur back into the socket to ensure this doesn't happen again. Furthermore, any damaged blood vessels or nerves will be repaired during the operation; however, some of the nerve damage might be permanent.

Almost all patients will require rehab to learn how to walk on the repaired leg. Most patients will make a full recovery. This is a serious injury and patience is required during the recovery process. After this kind of injury is sustained as a result of an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can aid victims in seeking compensation for the harm they have suffered.

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