Plumbers and carpet layers are susceptible to work-related ACL tears, because of the constant pressure on their knees.
An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a frequent work-related injury that often requires surgery. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured employees to cover the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, and lost wages.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in the knee. A ligament is a short band of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue that connects two bones or holds together a joint. The ACL is part of a complex joint and carries the entire weight of the body. Without a functioning knee, a person cannot bend, swivel, or straighten. ACL tears are a common knee injury, often associated with sports injuries. However, work-related ACL tears frequently happen to workers who put constant pressure on their knees, such as plumbers and carpet layers.
Work-Related Knee Injury
The ACL is susceptible to trauma when continuous pressure is applied to the knee. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 70% of ACL injuries happen through non-contact as opposed to direct contact with an object. ACL tears are painful, making the simple task of walking difficult. Causes of work-related ACL tears include:
- twisting the wrong way
- hitting the knee
- lifting heavy items
- working directly on the knees
Diagnosing and Treating ACL Tears
Persons who have experienced an ACL tear often relate that they feel a pop in the knee followed by extreme pain. An ACL tear can only be diagnosed by a physician. A doctor will use a visual examination to look for bruising and swelling of the knee. An MRI is needed to give a specific diagnosis and to determine the extent of the damage. If surgery is needed to repair the tear, arthroscopic surgery using a small incision. Recovery time for repairing an ACL tear averages from six to nine months.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
When physical therapy and pain management fails to offer relief, surgery may be recommended as a last resort. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to an injured employee to cover the medical costs of a work-related injury, including surgery. In addition, a percentage of lost wages can be recovered while recuperating. If you need help filing a work comp claim for a work-related ACL tear, speak to a St. Louis work injury lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Call us at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.