An individual might end up with a gunshot wound to the knee by accident or intentionally. It is important to note that the knee joint is an important weight bearing joint positioned strategically. Due to its location and structure, a gunshot wound to the knee can cause intense pain.
What are the knee injuries from a gunshot wound?
The extent of injury and type is based on the position of the individual, type of weapon and number of bullets.
If a shot was done intentionally, the bullet is fired to the knee pit using a low velocity weapon. Only a few individuals ended up with an injured or fractured kneecap.
When it comes to a gunshot wound, the bullet has penetrated the body by crushing the tissues as it enters the joint. This causes damage to the bone and neighboring structures which leads to intense pain. The injuries mainly arise from the crushing of the bone and soft tissues, cavitation as well as lacerations to other adjacent structures.
A wound to the knee can lead to varying degrees of damage that can include the muscles, cartilage, ligaments and related structures supporting the joint. In some cases, the patella is involved as well as the articular surfaces of the bones.
The risk for infection is also high which is vital in determining the functioning of the joint. Bullets that are embedded within the joint can cause damage to the surrounding tissues and even affect circulation.
An initial assessment is carried out to determine the condition and type of injury sustained by the individual. The individual should be stabilized with the appropriate measures.
Due to the high risk for infection, properly treatment is vital. Proper wound care is essential to minimize the development of infection and other complications. There are cases in which wounds might require surgical debridement or even an arthroscopic procedure might be considered.
In case the knee joint is septic, it requires drainage and proper treatment. An infected or damaged joint that was surgically treated requires rehabilitation to improve functionality.
In severe cases of leg injury from a gunshot wound, amputation of the affected leg might be needed. Any associated wounds to other parts of the body can worsen the condition and delay recovery.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a gunshot wound to the knee is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage knee injuries from a gunshot wound by taking a standard first aid course with Toronto First Aid.