ACL Tear Workers Compensation
If you have a torn ACL due to a work-related injury, you are entitled to Missouri workers’ compensation benefits.
Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly reported injuries to the knee. Sometimes referred to as a sprain, this is a painful injury that often requires surgery to correct. If you are suffering from knee pain due to an accident at work, the cause could be an ACL tear.
Accidents are not the only work related cause of an ACL tear. Missouri workers, such as plumbers or carpet layers, could also experience trauma to the knee and a sprain from the constant pressure that is applied as they work. These types of overuse injuries are also covered by your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have questions about how to go about filing a claim for an ACL tear, schedule a meeting with James M. Hoffmann. Our practice has dealt with hundreds of cases involving this type of injury and we can be counted on to help you in receiving the treatment and benefits you are entitled to.
Knee Injuries in the Workplace
Your knee carries the entire weight of your body, and is considered to be the most complex joint. Without it you would lose the ability for your leg to bend, swivel or straighten, making it extremely difficult to walk. Because it is so complex and made up of a number of components, it is especially vulnerable to workplace injuries.
A trauma from twisting the wrong way, falling or being struck in the knee could all lead to an ACL tear. Lifting heavy items repeatedly, stooping and performing work duties on all fours could also cause a tear to develop over time. In most cases where an ACL tear is detected, there will be additional damage to other components of the knee. Since you are reliant on the knee for every step that you take, a painful ACL tear will make it extremely difficult for you to continue work without medical intervention. This will often include surgery to repair the tear and restore mobility.
Diagnosing an ACL Tear
A sudden ACL tear from trauma is often recognized as a sudden pop in the knee followed by excruciating pain. This occurs when the injury is caused by quickly twisting the knee or extending the leg after a prolonged period of time in a squatting position. To diagnose an ACL tear, a doctor will first visually examine the knee for signs of bruising, swelling or a deformity. Due to the complexity of the joint, stability will be checked for each of the four ligaments that help make up the knee. Unfortunately this can be a painful process to go through.
If further testing is needed, an MRI is typically ordered to look for signs of injury to the ligaments. This also helps in deciding what the best course of treatment should be. Depending on your overall health and the extent of the injury, either rehabilitative therapy or surgery will be recommended.
Surgical Repair of an ACL Tear
Because of its location, an ACL tear can usually be surgically repaired non-invasively. This procedure requires a small incision for the surgeon to reconstruct the torn ligament using arthroscopic surgery. Recovery for this operation can take anywhere from six to nine months, with rehabilitative physical therapy to help ease the knee back into full functionality.
What Will the Workers Compensation Benefits Cover for Surgical Repair of an ACL Tear?
Surgery is often recommended as a last resort, only after other therapies have been tried to no avail. Still, your employer’s workers compensation insurance will be required to cover the cost of the therapy, and if necessary, the surgery. In addition, you may be able to receive a percentage of your lost wages as you recover from the procedure.
James Hoffmann has practiced workers compensation law for over 20 years. We have represented clients who have suffered all types of work related injuries and have a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need.