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The 7 Most Common Injuries from Car Accidents

Every year, over 2,000,000 people get injured in a car crash in the United States. Regardless of whether they are at fault, everybody involved in a car accident should see a doctor as soon as possible. 

 Crashed car with glass on the ground underneath it.

Even though accident victims may feel perfectly fine at first, symptoms of injuries often show up in the hours or days following the event. With that in mind, seeing an orthopedic specialist after a car accident–even if you feel fine–is essential to preventing hidden injuries from worsening. 

Read on to learn more about common orthopedic injuries that people experience following a car crash. 

Common Injuries from Car Accidents

Bone Fractures

Bone fractures are common injuries from a car accident, where the human body rapidly decelerates and possibly impacts airbags or other interior parts. Depending on the type of fracture, it may require immobilization or surgery. 

For minor to average fractures, a cast or other type of immobilization is typically enough to treat the injury. However, surgery may be necessary if the bone breaks into several pieces or if the fracture site is misaligned. 

Back Injuries

Vehicle collisions can also cause a range of back injuries for those involved. Some injuries include torn soft tissue, herniated discs, dislocated vertebra, and broken vertebra. Depending on the severity of the crash, the damage may require surgery to repair

Common back injuries that result from car crashes include: 

 Man leaning on car door after a crash holding his neck in pain.

  • Spinal fusions
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Laminectomy
  • Discectomy

For more information about back injuries and sources of back pain, click here to claim your free copy of our eBook, Spine Surgery and Care for Long Island and Beyond.

Internal Injuries

Although they may not be immediately visible or noticeable, internal injuries from car crashes and internal bleeding are common. One or more organs could have been punctured or crushed during the impact. 

Treatment usually involves surgery in some capacity to remedy internal injuries and internal bleeding. However, depending on the extent of the injury, the procedure could be minimally invasive or extensive. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

A person wears a blue cast from the fingers to the upper arm.

Any number of soft tissue injuries can occur during a car crash. As limbs stretch in unnatural ways and the body gets strained, damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments are common. 

Though most soft tissue injuries will heal by themselves with enough time, rest, and physical therapy, other soft tissue injuries require more involved treatment. Surgery is the only way to restore function if you tore a muscle, tendon, or ligament. 

Knee Injuries

In some cases, leg injuries from car accidents can occur because legs can get jammed into the dashboard or damaged by airbags. Knee injuries account for about 10% of all injuries from car accidents, with some of the most common injuries including:

  • Contusions
  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Fractures
  • Tears

Neck Injuries

Neck pain may start immediately after the crash or hours and days after the collision. During the impact, your head often jerks in one direction or another, which can damage ligaments, muscles, joints, discs, nerves, tendons, or bones. Some common neck injuries include:

  • Slipped or herniated discs
  • Sprain or strain
  • Pinched nerve
  • Fracture of compression
  • Muscle spasms


Car crashes can result in any number of disfigurements. Whether debris, fire, or impact caused the disfigurement, plastic surgery is common after a car accident. While disfigurement is not life-threatening, plastic surgeons can help reduce the effects of scarring. 

Get the Treatment You Need for Injuries from Car Accidents

Car accidents can be physically and emotionally taxing. At SI Ortho, our team is committed to providing you with the post-crash care you need. Our experienced team of orthopedic professionals is prepared with the knowledge and experience needed to get you back on the road. For more information about what SI Ortho can do for you, click here to schedule an appointment.