Knee injuries often happen on the job, thereby making these injuries common among workers’ compensation claims.
In fact, the most frequent injury to the lower extremity of the body affects the knee. You can get this injury in any workplace environment–manufacturing, construction, or agriculture.
Your knee injury is considered work-related if you got injured while working or your work aggravated a pre-existing physical condition.
According to OSHA standard 1904.5, a work event or exposure need only be indicated as the cause of a work-related illness or injury. This includes the worsening of a pre-existing condition. Therefore, an event or exposure does not need to be the prevailing cause of the injury.
How Knee Injuries Can Occur at Work
Knee injuries at work may happen from the following activities:
- Lifting heavy objects or boxes
- Wear and tear over time
In many instances, a knee injury may evolve from wear on the cartilage. This can lead to arthritis, swelling, and, in some instances, chronic or ongoing pain.
Needless to say, this type of pain can greatly reduce your quality of life. Knee injuries may also result from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – a frequent problem on the job.
ACL Tears and Sprains
An ACL tear or sprain affects the ACL – a strong band of tissue that connects the shinbone (tibia) to the thigh bone (femur). The tear may happen if you suddenly stop and turn sharply while loading a box or change directions while jumping from a height.
Sometimes a person may hear a type of popping sound in the knee. Afterward, your knee will feel wobbly and swell, or you’ll have a hard time bearing any type of weight.
To recover from an ACL injury, you’ll often need to rest your knee and undergo rehabilitation exercises so you can regain your stability and strength. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to replace the torn ligament.
You can also sustain a knee injury if you happen to fall on your knee. Often, workers will suffer from osteoarthritis after this happens. That’s because the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella) begins to degenerate.
This can result in swelling and inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this type of condition is called the chondromalacia patella.
Often called runner’s knee, chondromalacia patella causes sensitivity and swelling on the side and/or front of the knee. You’ll feel the pain frequently if you’ve sat for a long time or when you get up out of a chair. You may also experience symptoms when squatting, kneeling, or when going up and down stairs.
Kneecap Fractures or Dislocation
Typically, you’ll need to file a workman’s compensation claim immediately if you dislocate or fracture your knee cap. Other common knee injuries are meniscus tears. These tears in the knee area result from hyper-flexing the knee joint or from a forceful twisting motion at the knee.
To temporarily treat a minor knee injury, you’ll need to follow the principle of RICE, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This antidote is also good to follow if you have osteoarthritis in the knee area. Never put off getting treatment for any type of knee injury, as it can worsen over time.
Knee Injury Treatments
Some treatments for knee injuries include:
- Immobilizing the knee to stabilize it to avoid further injury.
- Administering an anti-inflammatory medicine if the knee is swollen or the patient has bursitis. When bursitis occurs, it affects the bursae, the fluid-filled sacs, that surround and protect the knee bones.
- Surgery is often necessary for more serious ligament damage or meniscus tears. In some cases, you may need immediate surgery if multiple areas of the knee are damaged or you’ve sustained a high-impact injury.
What Should You Do If You Discover Your Knee is Injured?
If you discover your knee injury is the result of working or you get injured on the job, file a worker’s comp claim immediately. You’ll also need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Whether your knee injury results from an on-the-job accident or from repeated use, it’s imperative you file a workers’ comp claim.
If you have this complaint, it should not become an adversarial process. Employers pay into worker’s compensation to prevent getting sued by employees and to meet their obligation to provide a safe workplace.
To ensure their workers’ compensation rights for knee injuries, employees often find it helpful to discuss their condition with a workers’ comp attorney. Working with an attorney will ensure that the paperwork is filled out correctly and you won’t run into any glitches.
Contact Belal Hamideh Law with Your Workers’ Compensation Questions Today
If you need this type of legal help in LA, contact Belal Hamideh right away at (562) 526-1224. Make sure you have all your bases covered by contacting a legal advocate who is experienced in dealing with workers’ compensation benefits and claims.