Mar 2019

Our Attorneys Offer Ideas to Avoid Work-Related Knee Injuries

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyOur knees bear a lot of the workload for our bodies. We use them for walking, lifting, kneeling, and almost every other physical activity on the job. With all that pressure, it is little surprise injuries at work often happen to our knees.

How common are work-related knee injuries?

In a systematic study of work-related knee injuries conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that studied data from emergency department surveillance, researchers established that knees were the second-most common body part to suffer a work-related injury that resulted in days away from work. The spine took top place.

There was some variance based on factors like industry, age, and gender. The rate of knee injuries relative to all work-related injuries was twice as high in federal and state employees compared to the private sector. Within the private sector, the highest rates of knee injury were found to be in transportation and warehouse work, utilities, and then construction. Younger workers of all genders had a high rate of knee injuries, and older women in the workforce showed similar results.

Knee injuries at a glance

There are a variety of knee injuries one can suffer at the workplace. Some, like osteoarthritis, arise slowly from regular wear and tear on the joint or factors that can be aggravated, but not necessarily always caused, by personal or environmental conditions. That link also describes what to expect with more acute conditions that can be directly caused by a workplace accident.

These include bursitis, when overuse or falls cause irritation to a fluid sac above the knee; patellar dislocation, when the kneecap is moved out of place; or a meniscal tear, where the cartilage in the knee is ripped and causes friction.

Each of these requires rest and some form of pain management. Some conditions may require more extensive work, like removing excess fluid, physical therapy, or even surgery. The common factor is time. Employees who suffer a workplace injury to one or both knees will need time to rest the joint and allow it to recover, as returning to activity too soon can make the problem even worse.

This is a problem when employers will not take responsibility for their involvement in the injury, or when worker’s compensation will not provide adequate means to recover. When this happens, you need someone to help you navigate the law and receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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