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Workplace knee injuries in California

When people think about workplace accidents and injuries, knee injuries are probably not one of the first types of injuries that come to mind. Knee injuries, however, are very common, and may result from workplace accidents or may occur as a repetitive stress injury related to the worker's job requirements.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, the management of work-related knee injuries involves addressing environmental and personal factors and includes ongoing treatment needed to correct the problems. The agency has outlined a number of steps medical professionals should take when approaching such injuries, including X-rays, a review of the worker's medical history, physical and arthroscopic examinations and vascular studies if a vascular disruption is also indicated.

MRIs are usually not recommended unless there is evidence of a stress fracture or a tear in ligaments. All of these methods are designed to provide a diagnosis and the treatment needed to help the person return to work. Treatment may involve physical therapy, other forms of rehabilitation, medication management and surgery. The injured worker may also require case management services to determine what factors contributed to the knee injury and to address those appropriately.

Knee injuries are an example of the types of cumulative injuries that may occur due to a worker's job requirements. A worker who has suffered from a knee injury due to a work accident or due to the ongoing stress on the knees placed over time may be able to recover benefits through workers' compensation. The assistance of a workers' compensation attorney may be advisable, especially if the injury resulted from repetitive stress or if the person had this problem before. An attorney may be able to utilize medical documentation in order to demonstrate a pre-existing condition was exacerbated by the worker's job requirements in order to mount an appeal to a denial of benefits.

Source: California Department of Industrial Relations, "Medical Unit - Knee problems", accessed on Jan. 23, 2015

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