A worker may assume that a cartilage injury is just part of the job; however, these types of injuries may qualify an injured worker for workers’ compensation benefits.
Missouri workers are prone to a wide variety of work-related injuries. While some injuries are a result of a sudden accident such as a machinery accident or a fall accident, there are other injuries that are caused by the gradual wear and tear of muscles. One type of injury that is commonly reported by workers is the cartilage injury.
What is a Cartilage Injury?
Cartilage is the connective tissue that cushions the joints and bones. Some body parts, such as the ears, are made entirely of cartilage, and others rely on cartilage to carry out essential functions. Without cartilage, the bones or joints experience friction which can cause serious damage and even permanent disability. Cartilage is easy to injure and takes a long time to heal. Complete lack of blood supply can cause permanent damage to elastic cartilage and total disability in joints that are supported by fibrocartilage and hyaline.
Common Work-Related Cartilage Injuries
Workers who do a lot of physical work at the workplace are often prone to cartilage injuries. In many cases, workers tend to believe that cartilage injuries are a part of the job, but this is far from true. Cartilage injury can be caused by work-related wear and tear or because of a workplace accident, including:
- lack of movement
- repetitive motion
- falls or impact
- slipped discs
- joint dislocation
- sores and infections
- broken or fractured bones
- rheumatoid arthritis
- ligament or meniscus tears
According to the National Institute of Health, about a third of adults over the age of 45 years suffer some type of cartilage damage. Cartilage damage is most commonly reported in the knee. Other commonly affected joints are the elbow, shoulder, and hand. For example, carpal tunnel is a common repetitive stress injury of the wrist.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
A worker who suffers a cartilage injury in the course and scope of work may be entitled to benefits under the Missouri workers’ compensation program. An injured worker may receive the benefits irrespective of the cause of injury as long as it is work-related. Cartilage injuries and other repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and arthritis are covered by the Missouri workers’ compensation program. However, it is essential that the injury is attributable to a work-related cause. As long as the worker can prove that the injury is work-related, he or she may receive medical and wage loss benefits.
Work Injury Lawyer St. Louis
The problem with cartilage injuries is that it is not easy to prove that they are work-related, because cartilage damage can also occur because of other factors such as age and trauma that occurred outside of the workplace. If your employer denies coverage for a work-related injury, contact a Missouri workers’ compensation attorney from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. Even if the condition is pre-existing but has been aggravated because of the work you do, you may still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.