Knee injuries are a common workplace occurrence. Workers can suffer knee injuries due to vehicle accidents, construction accidents, machine malfunction, and many other reasons. Knee injuries can occur due to lifting, twisting, falling the wrong way, or just due to an unusual movement.
One common type of knee is injury is a torn ligament. The two main types of ligament injuries are tears of the:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
Ligament injuries often occur when a worker suddenly changes direction.
According to Heiden Orthopedics, the ACL, which is located in the middle of the knee, helps keep the knee joint stable as it moves from side to side. ACL injuries include strains, partial tears, and full tears. If your ACL is damaged, you may hear a popping sound. It’s likely that you won’t be able to put weight on your knee.
An MCL “keeps the joint from over-extending.” The MCL is located on the inside of the knee. It connects the shin and the thigh bone. MCL injuries often occur when there’s a forceful blow to the knee or the knee twists or is bent in an unnatural way. An MCL partial or full tear may also result in a popping sound followed by swelling and pain.
The “pop” of an ACL is normally louder and more distinctive than an MCL pop. Pain near the center of the knee indicates an ACL tear while pain along the side of the knee indicates an MCL tear.
How are ACL and MCL injuries treated?
The initial treatment for both types of injuries is the application of ice, “use a compression garment to stabilize the joint, and prop up your knee to elevate it until you can get medical treatment.”
ACL ligament tears may require surgery. Usually, the treating physician uses a graft to replace the part of the ligament that is torn. The recovery time for an ACL tear can take six months or longer. MCL tears often can be treated with several months of rehabilitation, though surgery may also be necessary.
Physical rehab pre-and post-surgery focuses on strengthening the anatomy such as the muscles around the knee. Both ACL surgeries and MCL surgeries may cause arthritis of the knee which can affect the worker for the rest of his/her life.
Other types of knee injuries that can happen at work
Workers who injure their knee may also suffer:
- A fractured patella
- A tear of the meniscus – cartilage that help provide a cushion between the thigh and shin bones
- Bursitis – inflammation of the bursae sacs helps the knee absorb shocks
- Tendinitis – inflammation of the patellar tendon
- Posterior crucial ligament tears which are usually due to falls and strong forces
There is no need to prove fault in a workers’ compensation case. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers work to show an accident caused your knee injury. We then work with your physicians to fully assess your injury, verify the types and length of treatment you’ll need, and the likely ability or inability to use your knee when you reach maximum medical improvement. To discuss any work injury claim, call us at 423-756-7923 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We’ve been fighting for injured workers and others since 1945. We represent clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, TN, North Georgia, and the surrounding areas.