Athletes are all too familiar with the devastating effects of knee injuries. However, the possibility of knee injuries in other industries, such as construction, trucking, healthcare, and even the office environment, isn’t as well-known.
Unfortunately, there are more than 100,000 workers who experience some type of knee injury while on the job every year in the U.S. in fact, knee injuries are considered the third most serious work injury and make up five percent of all work-related injuries that require the worker to go to the emergency room.
Daily activities, such as walking to meetings, moving items in the building, and even climbing a ladder, can put a lot of stress on the knees. The knees are also used for sitting down and in many other movements, making them extremely susceptible to serious injuries, no matter what occupation someone works in.
Common Causes of Work-Related Knee Injuries
While knee injuries can occur while doing a wide array of tasks, some of the most common causes of work-related knee injuries include:
- Falls that include falls from a height and slip and fall accidents
- Hyperextension injuries
- Overexertion includes excessive wear because of repeat motions, strain when lifting something, and injuries that occur because of twisting motions or sudden movements
- Injuries resulting from pallet jacks
- Objects striking the knee
Remember that this is just a list of some of the most common causes of knee injuries in the workplace. There are many other ways that your knee may be injured.
Common Work-Related Knee Injuries
Along with common causes of work-related knee injuries, some injuries are more common than others. Some of the most common work-related knee injuries seen include:
The tendons in the knee are present to connect the muscles to the bones of the knee joint. They make it possible to bend and move the knee. A direct blow or overexertion may cause a torn, ruptured, or sprained tendon.
There are a few bones in the knee joint. These include:
- Femur or thighbone
- Tibia or shinbone
- Patella or kneecap
Any force to these bones can cause them to fracture
The knee is also made up of several ligaments that connect the thighbone to the shinbone. The ligaments also provide stability for the knee. A ligament injury can include tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, the lateral collateral ligament, or the posterior cruciate ligament. Sprains may also occur. Usually, to repair these injuries, surgery is required.
The meniscus is the cartilage that creates a cushion between your femur and shinbone. Treatment options for a torn meniscus include using a knee brace, rest, and ice. In some situations, surgery is needed to remove or repair the damaged meniscus.
This is an inflammatory condition of the knee’s bursitis, which is located on the exterior of the knee joint. Its job is to ensure the tendons and ligaments move smoothly over the knee joint. If it is injured, movement may be limited, and pain may occur.
With this medical condition, the cartilage around the kneecap is damaged due to repetitive movements, overuse, or a traumatic injury. With this injury, the individual would likely experience pain when going up and down stairs or sitting for extended periods of time.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Work-Related Knee Injuries
If a worker sustained their knee injury while working, they could recover workers’ compensation benefits. Since Florida’s workers’ compensation system is “no-fault,” you don’t have to prove how it happened, just that the injury occurred on the job. It is important to report the situation to the employer as soon as possible to ensure it will be covered.
Workers’ compensation benefits should pay for all medical treatment and care provided for the knee injury. Additionally, the benefits should cover any lost wages a worker loses for being unable to work because of the work injury.
In some situations, work-caused knee injuries are so severe that the worker must remain off work for an extended amount of time, while many workers may never be able to work again. If this occurs, then the worker is entitled to ongoing benefits for their long-term disability.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Help with Your Work-Caused Knee Injury
At Sternberg Forsythe, P.A., our legal team has years of experience handling all types of at-work accidents and injuries, including knee injuries. We can help ensure you get the benefits deserved and ensure that you don’t experience any issues along the way. Our team is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers. We will investigate your case and take the necessary steps to ensure you receive the benefits deserved for your injury. Contact us today to get started or to schedule a free initial consultation.