Injuries to the knee, thigh, and/or hip are relatively common in motor vehicle accidents. These should be looked for even when external signs of injury are absent. Hip injuries are especially serious since they are associated with long-term disability.


Most common injuries include:

(1) hip fracture

(2) femoral shaft fracture

(3) patella fracture


Risk factors for knee-thigh-hip complex injuries:

(1) unrestrained

(2) occupant of a sport utility vehicle (SUV)


Risk factors for hip injuries:

(1) air bag-equipped

(2) new vehicle model with impact to shock absorbing knee bolster (less force, longer duration)


Risk factors for knee injuries:

(1) increased age

(2) older vehicle model with impact onto a rigid surface (high force, short duration)


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