Last Updated: 2/22/2024

A torn tendon is one type of injury that Iowa drivers might suffer in a car accident. These soft, band-like tissues connect the muscles to the bone. A stretched tendon can result in a partial or complete tear and may impair movement. Injured drivers might face medical bills, lost or reduced wages during recovery, and other damages.

Joints most often affected by a torn tendon from a car accident are shoulders, ankles and knees. The severity depends on the nature of the accident and the injuries sustained. 

Common types of torn tendons:

  • Shoulder - This can include a tear in the bicep or rotator cuff. Both can occur when the person extends his or her arm, such as to brace for impact. A rotator cuff tear can also occur with another injury; for instance, a dislocated shoulder or broken collarbone. A rotator cuff tear is also a common cause of disability.
  • Ankle: The tearing of a tendon in the ankle can affect mobility. This can happen when there is sudden impact to the legs in a car crash.
  • Knee: Torn tendons in the knees include the patellar tendon (which some refer to as the patellar ligament because it actually connects bone to bone instead of muscle to bone). A tear to the patellar tendon is oftentimes disabling. It requires a strong force to tear this tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone.

Signs of a Torn Tendon

The following are possible signs and symptoms of a torn tendon:

  • bruising;
  • popping or snapping sound;
  • numbness or weakness;
  • difficulty with movement; and
  • pain which may worsen with movement.

Treating a Torn Tendon

A torn tendon may heal over time without surgical intervention. This is more likely with a partial tear. Nonsurgical treatment could include ice packs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These help relieve pain and reduce swelling. If this doesn’t work, sometimes the individual needs a steroid injection.

The injured person will likely have to rest during healing and recovery. This could include not working for a time, which can affect wages. The patient may start physical therapy after the swelling has gone down.

Sometimes a torn tendon requires surgery to restore movement. After surgery, the individual may need a cast, splint or sling for support. Many patients require some form of rehabilitation. In general, recovery is longer if surgery is required.

Legal Options When an Iowa Car Accident Causes Torn Tendons

Most car accident claims address the medical costs incurred and wages lost while recovering. These costs and losses could be substantial after these injuries. This could include future medical costs such as rehabilitation. It may address other losses, such as permanent disability and pain and suffering. This depends on the severity of the injury and its effects.

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Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.