Knee Injuries And Workers’ Compensation
Work-related knee injuries aren’t limited to blue-collar workers or manual laborers. They can affect employees in any line of work.
- Administrative assistants can trip over a computer cable and twist their knee, causing a meniscus tear.
- Office workers may slip and fall on ice in a parking lot.
- Construction workers can misstep on a job site, tearing their ACL.
- Nurses may attempt to catch a falling patient, damaging their own patellar tendon, causing pre-patellar bursitis.
Work-related knee injuries can occur anytime, anywhere, and are considered “work-related” so long as you were furthering or “advancing” your employer’s interests at the time you were hurt.
Do you need surgery, therapy, or rest to improve your chances of recovery from a knee injury? Whether your knee was injured on or off the job in Pennsylvania, if you are unable to work or need medical treatment, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer right away.
Common Work-Related Knee Injuries
On-the-job knee injuries take many forms. A knee injury from work can include:
- Kneecap dislocations
- Bone contusions in the knee
- Bone fractures
- Aggravation of pre-existing chondromalacia (also called “chondromalacia patellae”) caused by irritation under the surface of the kneecap
- Aggravation of tri-compartmental degenerative disease (osteoarthritis of all three joint compartments) marked by pain, grating, stiffness, and swelling
Other typical work-related knee injuries include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) tears
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears
- Meniscus tears
While this list is not comprehensive, it does include some of the most commonly reported work-related knee injuries endured by hurt workers in Pennsylvania.
Symptoms Of A Work-Related Knee Injury
If you’ve injured your knee at work, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stabbing pain
- Throbbing pain
- Tearing sensation
- Limited movement
- Feeling of “giving out”
The location of the pain may vary. In some cases, the back or sides of your knee may hurt. There may be instances where you have difficulty moving your knee, bending it, or even walking. Regardless of the severity of your pain and symptoms, it’s important that you take the appropriate steps in both reporting your injury and choosing an attorney to help you with your claim.
What To Do When You Have A Work-Related Knee Injury?
The moment you feel a popping, burning, stabbing, or throbbing pain in your knee at work, report the injury to a supervisor or manager immediately. Injured workers describe work-related knee injuries in a number of different ways. It is important to describe the injury in a way that your employer will take seriously:
- A meniscus tear is typically described as a “popping sensation” in the knee.
- An ACL injury is typically described as a “burning” or “tearing sensation” in the knee.
- Knee bursitis feels like a throbbing pain. Injured workers also describe “limited movement” and “swelling” in their knee after an injury.
All of these descriptions are important to include in the incident report when you report the injury.
Once you report your work-related knee injury, there is a strong likelihood the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will downplay these injuries and describe them as knee strains, sprains, or contusions. It is crucial that you get a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, this way you know the extent of your injury.
What To Expect After Reporting Your Work-Related Knee Injury?
After you report a work-related knee injury, your employer will most likely refer you to a list of doctors known as “panel doctors.” PA workers’ compensation law states they need at least six to nine providers in different specialties on this list. Additionally, the employer must have you sign an acknowledgement form at the time of your work injury and again after you are hurt. If they employer fails to complete either task, you can treat with a doctor of your choice.
An accepted work-related knee injury means that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for your medical bills related to the knee. There should be no copay. If you are unable to work or return to work on modified duty because of your knee injury, you should be entitled to wage loss benefits as well.
Important: File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Right Away
Whether a knee injury develops over time on the job or occurs as a result of a sudden traumatic incident, it is important to file a workers’ compensation claim within the time frame allowed by law.
For information on how to file a workers’ compensation claim and/or to explore any potential third-party liability personal injury claims, contact our firm.
Get Legal Assistance For Your Work-Related Knee Injury
How can a lawyer help? A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you manage the medical care of your case and explain the workers’ compensation process. A work-related knee injury can be scary and painful, but you don’t have to go through the process alone.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo will help you through each step of your claim. We’ll also help you seek the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve and will review your case to see if a third-party claim is viable.