Because the knee is the largest joint in the body, it is one of the most easily injured. Bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons are at risk. Types of injuries include fractures, dislocations, and sprains or tears of ligaments and other soft tissue. Making matters worse, a knee injury can involve more than one part of the joint.
On the job, your knees are in danger in many ways. Most obvious are contact injuries, when the knee is pushed out of alignment by colliding with an object, such as a fork lift. Knees also are susceptible to a simple fall on a slippery surface, a stumble on stairs, by quickly changing direction and, in the case of older workers with arthritis, by an everyday task, such as an awkward twist while rising from a chair.
The signs of knee injury begin when you hear a “pop” and the joint gives out. This can result in severe pain, the inability to maneuver the knee, swelling and limping.
Treating knee injuries
If you suffer a knee injury, remember the RICE formula – rest, ice, gentle compression and elevation. Then, get medical assistance as soon as possible because early diagnosis and treatment is invaluable. In the case of workplace injuries, file a report with your employer, including testimony from witnesses and the circumstances that led to your injury.
Treatment depends on the severity of your injury, your age, general health and activity level. Some knee injuries can be treated relatively simply through immobilization, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Other knee injuries are more serious, requiring surgery and rehabilitation that can sideline you for weeks or even months.
You may need legal attention, too
If you have suffered a knee injury on the job, you have your hands full. You may be out of work for an extended period of time, struggling to provide for your family. Your employer is unlikely to accept any responsibility for your accident and, in fact, probably will blame you. Your attempt to navigate the workers’ compensation system will cause frustration and confusion. A seemingly innocent mistake on your part can undermine your entire case. An insurance company, more concerned about profits than your health, will tempt you with a lowball financial settlement offer.
Workers’ compensation attorney Richard A. Jaffe and his staff at the Law Offices of Richard A. Jaffe, LLC are dedicated to clients just like you. Attorney Jaffe has been personally handling the cases of injured workers in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey since the 1990s. He will fight employers and their insurance companies to secure justice and fair compensation for you. He collects nothing unless he wins your case. Contact us today for a free case consultation.