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Securing Compensation for Workers With Knee Injuries

The knee is one of the most overworked joints in the human body. It is unsurprising then that millions of Americans seek medical treatment for knee pain each year. Fortunately, many knee injuries are compensable. When a preexisting knee condition is made worse over time by work-related duties or an acute knee injury occurs on the job, an injured worker will often be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Workers at Higher Risk of Knee Injury

  • Construction workers: Knee sprains and strains can easily result from carrying heavy loads over the uneven terrain of a construction site. Other injuries can stem from prolonged kneeling or stooping. Construction workers should elevate their work surface whenever possible and use tool extenders to avoid repeated bending at the knees. The use of knee pads can also reduce wear and tear.
  • Nurses: The act of lifting and moving patients – particularly those who are obese – can cause knees to buckle. Nurses face the additional strain of too much time spent on their feet. A nurse walks an average of four to five miles during a standard 12-hour shift, according to one 2006 study.
  • Truck drivers: Commercial truck drivers frequently suffer from patellar tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shin bone, because of the repeated motion associated with operating a clutch and gas pedals. Industry experts say that the act of jumping into and out of the truck bed can also strain the tendon to such an extent that patellar tendonitis results.

Understanding the Range of Knee Injuries

In addition to injuries that happen in higher-risk occupations, a variety of other knee injuries can form the basis of a successful Workers’ Compensation claim, regardless of profession. Partial or complete tears of the meniscus occur when the knee is forcefully twisted, and lead to pain and swelling as well as knee instability. Tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) can also be partial or complete, but will present with considerably more pain and a far longer recovery time than injuries to the meniscus. To that end, an ACL tear will almost always require surgery and can lead to weeks and months of missed work.

Similarly, the cartilage disorder chondromalacia patella – a softening of the kneecap cartilage, caused by overuse – can require arthroscopic or realignment surgery. Any worker who spends much of their day walking or climbing stairs is at an increased risk of suffering from chondromalacia. Moreover, certain individuals with natural anatomic variations of the knee are also more likely to develop chondromalacia than others.

It is important to note that workers suffering from preexisting knee disorders that are aggravated by their current job duties are no less entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits than those suffering from acute knee injuries. Anytime an employee is injured on the job or their preexisting knee injury is exacerbated by work conditions, it can form the basis of a successful Workers’ Compensation claim. Worker seeking treatment for a knee injury should take notes about all doctors’ appointments, physical therapy and imaging studies ordered. The insurer will likely require such documentation before issuing an approval or denial of benefits.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Assist Workers Recovering from Knee Injuries

If you suffered a knee injury in the course of your employment, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, will assist in all aspects of your Workers’ Compensation claim. Contact us at 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500, or complete our online questionnaire to schedule a free initial consultation at our Philadelphia offices, where we proudly serve injured employees throughout Pennsylvania.