When we think of someone having knee injuries, it's easy to imagine football players and runners. But blowing out a knee isn't exclusive to athletes. Workers in many professions put a great deal of strain on their knees daily, and many are one bad step away from an injury that leaves them on the sidelines for weeks or months. Sometimes, a knee injury can prevent someone from ever returning to the work they once did.
No matter what kind of work you do, if you suffer a knee injury on the job, you should qualify for workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and pay lost wages.
Typical Workplace Knee Injuries
Your knees don’t care if you're squatting and lifting weights in the gym or hefting a box in the warehouse. Either way, you're putting a great deal of stress on an already problematic joint. Years of wear and tear certainly don’t help the situation.
Knee injuries we typically see on workers’ comp claims include:
- Meniscus injuries. Providing a cushion where the thigh bone and the shin bone meet, the cartilage of the lateral and medial menisci can be worn down over many years or torn suddenly when the knee is twisted or strained. Sometimes rest and rehab can be an effective treatment, but in some patients, this injury will become a painful, chronic problem.
- Ligament tears. Most athletes—and parents of athletes—have heard of the dreaded ACL tear. This is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, one of several ligaments providing stability to the knee joint. This can be a career-ending injury not only to an athlete but also a manual laborer. A tear in the ligaments of the knee can be debilitating.
- Bone fractures. Falls from heights, run-ins with forklifts, vehicle collisions, and other accidents can cause a fracture in the kneecap or patella, or of the tibia or femur where they join to form the knee joint. A knee fracture is very difficult to heal and may never do so properly to enable the patient to regain normal use.
- Tendon injuries. Something as seemingly minor as tendonitis can be painful enough to prevent the sufferer from working. More serious tears of the patellar tendon could require surgery and months of physical therapy. Tendon problems can result from overuse or a sudden twist or impact.
These injuries occur in several ways—from overexertion and overuse to falls and collisions. Knee injuries should be diagnosed and treated promptly to avoid a worsening of the condition. A stretched ligament, for example, might tear and create bigger problems if it's not treated in a timely fashion.
Ohio Workers at Risk of a Serious Knee Injury
Knee joints keep us upright and moving, no matter what the purpose of the motion is. A knee injury can happen to anyone—from a mom carrying a baby to an office worker standing up from a desk chair.
Many workers are susceptible to knee injuries, including:
- Truck drivers
- Warehouse and fulfillment center workers
- Loading dockworkers
- Nurses and medical assistants
- Construction crews
- Restaurant personnel
- Office staff
Really, anyone who uses their legs to complete tasks on the job can suffer a knee injury needing medical treatment and time off work.
Building a Case for Workers’ Comp After an On-the-Job Injury
Because knee injuries are so common and can be caused by recreational activities as easily as work tasks, it can be difficult to prove to your employer and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio that your injury happened on the job and should be compensated.
If your injury was caused by a fall or other mishap in the workplace, you should report the incident to your supervisor or HR immediately. Then, see a doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment plan. The timeline of events after your accident is essential to building a strong workers’ comp claim. If you're getting any hassle from your employer about filing a claim, contact our Upper Arlington office to find out how we can help. In the meantime, please request a free copy of our valuable resource, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.