Knee injuries are among the more common workplace injuries.
Workplace injuries are more common than we think. These injuries, particularly the ones that require hospitalization and surgery. Injuries can lead to high medical expenses, wage loss and other expenses. Knee injuries are among the more common workplace injuries. Apart from causing pain and discomfort, they can affect daily activities, making it difficult to walk, stand or bend the knees.
At times, knee surgeries can disable people only for a specific amount of time. However, it is seen that even if the surgery is successful, or even if the knee is medically deemed functional, it rarely comes back to its normal condition and the effects of the initial damage caused to the knee can last forever. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will discuss a knee condition known as chondromalacia.
What is Chondromalacia?
Chondromalacia is one of the types of knee injuries seen among workers. It occurs when a misaligned knee causes the cartilage on the back of the knee bone to soften, leading to further degeneration of the knee area. It can lead to issues like damage to the tendon and the meniscus, and a fracture in the patella (the knee cap). Additionally, it makes the knee vulnerable to repeated trauma which can result in complete damage in the cartilage.
How does chondromalacia occur?
Normally during knee movement, the patella glides along a groove in the femur. During this gliding motion, a layer of smooth cartilage under the patella prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. Any type of injury or trauma to the knee, repetitive stress injury, overuse or long periods on inactivity or misalignment of the knee can lead to softening and deterioration of the cartilage.
The deterioration most commonly occurs while kneeling, squatting, bending or extending the knee. Patients experience severe pain during most movements, however, the pain is worse while walking downhill or descending staircases.
The most common symptom of chondromalacia is pain while descending or ascending staircases. However there are other identifiable symptoms of chondromalacia such as –
- Stiffness in the knees
- Dull aching pain on the front of the knee
- Pain after sitting for long periods
- A grinding/grating feeling at the knee when it is extended.
Treatment for chondromalacia
Chondromalacia is first treated with a combination of conservative methods such as ice application, compression, protection, anti-inflammatory medication, elevation of the affected area, physical therapy that focuses on strengthening of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle, and rest. Patients are first asked to rest the knee completely and slowly re-introduce knee movement and activity. While in most cases surgery is not required, rare cases call for surgery.
Workers compensation for chondromalacia
Chondromalacia is most commonly caused due to blunt trauma and injury to the knee. However, considering the fact that it is a degenerative condition, associating it with an exact event can prove to be a challenge. Injured workers would greatly benefit from consulting with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE consultation.