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Serious knee injuries can occur at work: Learn your options

Workers who have to climb up and down ladders or do heavy lifting as part of their job duties might find that they have aches and pains on a regular basis. While a little discomfort might not be anything too concerning, there comes a point when discomfort turns to pain and it is obvious that something is wrong.

One of the joints in the body that can suffer from climbing and heavy lifting is the knee. Your knees are the largest joint in your body. The constant stress on them during a physically active shift can lead to considerable wear and tear on the joint. This wear and tear, as well as accidents that occur on the job, can lead to knee injuries.

Several types of injuries are possible

There are several different types of knee injuries that can occur. You might suffer a ligament tear. These ligaments are the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). You might also suffer a fracture in the knee, a sprain, a strain, a meniscus tear or a dislocation of the knee cap. Overuse injuries that might occur include inflammatory conditions, bursitis and tendonitis.

Symptoms of a knee injury

Most knee injuries will cause pain. Some injuries might produce sudden and severe pain, while others will cause pain that progressively gets worse with time and use. You might notice swelling in the knee and redness may occur. Obvious deformity in the joint can take place with some injuries. In almost all cases, you will experience trouble moving the knee or putting pressure on the affected leg.

Treating a knee injury

When you experience symptoms of a knee injury, it is a good idea to visit your doctor to determine what injury is present. This will lead to a treatment plan, which might include rest, medication, heat or ice, the use of a brace, physical therapy, and surgery. Make sure that you understand what you can and can't do so that you are giving your body time to heal.

Special considerations

There are instances when a knee injury will mean that you have to take time off of work. This coupled with the cost of a medical care can be financially devastating. If the cause of the problem was a work-related injury, you might consider filing for workers' compensation. These benefits include payments for medical care. However, if you do have to miss work, you might qualify for wage replacement benefits until you are able to return to work.

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