When a worker sustains trauma to the knee, an Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury may result.
These injuries are often painful, and make it difficult for the worker to move around. The worker may require treatment to recover from this injury, and if he or she missed work or has to temporarily return to a lesser paying position, the worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In this post, we wil discuss what exactly the MCL is, potential cause of injury, treatment options, and receiving work comp benefits if you have been injured on the job.
What is the MCL?
The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is one of the most important ligaments that contribute to the motion and function of the knee. This ligament runs from the femur or the thighbone, to about four inches above tibia or the shinbone. The most important function of the MCL is to prevent the leg from overextending. It also helps in rotating and stabilizing the knee. When a worker suffers an injury or tear to the MCL, they suffer severe pain. MCL injuries may also cause swelling, and the injured worker may not be able to put weight on the affected leg.
Causes of Work-Related MCL Tears
Workers who have to perform physically strenuous work are at a higher risk of MCL injuries. These injuries are often a result of an impact that pushes the knees sideways. Some common workplace accidents that can cause an MCL tear include contact with machinery or equipment, slip and fall injuries, or a motor vehicle injury.
Treatment for an MCL Tear
The treatment for an MCL injury depends on the severity of the injury. If the worker has suffered a partial MCL tear, then the doctor may recommend bracing, ice therapy, and physical therapy. This helps reduce pain and swelling, and the brace keeps the knee immobile while it heals, helping the worker regain function and motion of the knee. However, if there is a more severe tear, the injured worker may require surgery. After surgery, physical therapy is generally required to help restore the function.
Prognosis of an MCL injury
Depending on the severity of the MCL tear, it could take anywhere from a week to two months to recover. However, the recovery period could be much longer if the damage is extensive, and the patient requires surgery.
Another thing that determines how fast patients recover from injuries is how closely the individual follows the doctor’s instructions, adheres to restrictions, and limits activities that could delay healing, or worse still, cause another injury. Some workers may not be able to return to work for a long time period, or may possibly be assigned to light duty work that allows the worker to stay off of their knee.
Missouri Workers Compensation Benefits for MCL Injuries
If you have suffered an MCL injury at work, you may be entitled to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Regardless of the severity of your injury, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney immediately. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann you will find an experienced St. Louis workplace injury lawyer with a proven track record of successful case results. Call us today at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.