Patella Fractures and Missouri Workers’ Compensation Benefits
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we make recovering benefits for you our priority.
The patella, commonly called the knee cap, is the bony structure that sits at the front of the joint. The knee is made up of a number of tendons and muscles, and the patella serves to help protect them from injury. Since the patella takes the brunt of the force of blows to the knee, it is susceptible to being fractured. This is a serious knee injury that may need surgical intervention in order to be repaired.
If you are involved in an accident while on the job that causes a patella fracture, your employer has insurance that will pay for the cost of your treatment. Workers’ compensation works like a no fault insurance plan, as long as the accident occurred while you were working, your employer must pay for the cost of any related medical care.
Missouri workers unfamiliar with work comp rules and regulations will benefit from the council of a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. James M. Hoffmann has the expertise needed to help you file a claim and ensure that all of your medical needs are being met.
Possible Causes of a Patella Fracture
Work related patella fractures can be the result of an accident, where the knee sustains a blunt force impact. This could happen from a fall to a hard surface, or even in a car accident. That high impact will break and sometimes displace the bone, immediately causing severe pain. Being connected to the strong muscles of the thigh, a patella fracture has also been known to occur when a sudden movement of the upper leg causes that muscle to contract sharply and pull the patella apart.
With a patella fracture, you will note swelling at the front of the knee, as well as bruising and tenderness. With this type of knee injury, your ability to straighten your leg and walk is almost instantly lost. Attempting to do so can actually cause more damage. With this type of injury you want to keep the knee in the same position and seek medical assistance immediately.
How Patella Fractures are Diagnosed and Treated
Physicians are often able to identify a patella fracture simply by feeling the bone through the skin and locating the break. Swelling inside of the knee joint is also looked for as this may indicate bleeding inside of the knee. To confirm the diagnosis, the physician will then order an imaging exam to check where the fracture is and its severity. This will allow the doctor to then go ahead and put a treatment plan in place.
In cases where the patella is fractured but did not become displaced, surgery may not be the best solution. Instead, you may be fitted with a knee splint or cast that keeps the joint in one position while it heals.
If the broken pieces of the patella have been misplaced, the fracture may then require a special surgical procedure. The pieces of bone will have to be brought back together in order for healing to begin. This can be a difficult type of fracture to repair, with the thigh muscle pulling on the bone and affecting healing.
What is the Prognosis for a Patella Fracture?
Both methods of treatment will require rehabilitation after completed in order to make sure that mobility is restored. After being inside of a cast for an extended period of time, the muscles that control the knee will lose some of the strength. Therapy will help in restoring that strength, and get you back on your feet quickly. With this type of injury it could take months before your physician feels comfortable with you applying any pressure to the joint.
Unfortunately, not all surgical repairs of a patella fracture are successful, and you could be facing disability. Arthritis and chronic pain are symptoms of a surgical repair for a patella fracture that did not heal properly.
Your Work Comp Benefits and a Patella Fracture
In order to ensure that you are receiving the full benefit allowed by law after a patella fracture, you should speak with James M. Hoffmann. Not only is your treatment covered, but if you become disabled as a result of the injury, you could be entitled to additional benefits. Our law office has the experience needed to examine the details of your case to determine what your rightful benefits are in relation to your patella fracture that occurred while on the job.
Contact us today at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free and private consultation.