Over 183,000 workers in the United States visited the emergency room in 2007 due to knee injuries, according to a recent study. Leg injuries sideline tens of thousands of workers each year.
The stress and pain can be debilitating. Employees who suffer may not be able to walk, carry, or lift, ultimately stopping them from working and enjoying their everyday lives. Occasionally, they may have to use wheelchairs, crutches, braces, and canes, and some workers may feel chronic pain.
Here are some facts:
- Five percent of all workplace injuries are to the knees.
- Thirteen of every 10,000 workers are injured each year, on average.
- After back problems, knee injuries are the second most common to result in one or more days away from work.
- Knee injuries keep government workers out of work twice the amount of time (over 19 days) than they do private industry workers (over 9 days).
Our experienced medical professionals and the board-certified doctor can help workers in the Dallas area recover from their workplace injuries. At Pain Stop MD, we offer a full-service clinic for all a patient’s needs, from consultations and diagnostic tests to physical therapy and pain management programs. Care, compassion, and thoughtfulness are a part of our treatment plan for every patient we deal with, as we’re able to guide you through your recovery and the workers’ compensation process.
Contact us today if you’re looking for a consultation, a second opinion, or if you just want to learn more about the services our clinic provides.
Common Knee & Leg Incidents for Texas Workers
Your legs carry you throughout the day, making your knees some of the most complex and hard-working joints in the body. Because they carry so much weight, it’s no surprise they are susceptible to a wide range of health issues, from mild to serious ones with permanent consequences.
- Sprains and strains. Ligament sprains and strains occur to both the legs and knees. These painful conditions are mostly not serious, but some, like hamstring sprains, may cause workers to miss work for extended periods of time.
- Broken bones. Broken legs can take you off your feet for weeks, meaning you may not be able to work and may begin to feel financially unstable. To avoid long-term health problems, broken legs should be treated correctly and early on.
- Knee cartilage tears. When the knee twists unnaturally, people suffer from meniscus tears. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. Ice and rest are required for meniscus tears, and they may also require pain management, physical therapy, and surgery.
- ACL, PCL, and MCL tears. When the knee is violently twisted, usually from falls or blunt force trauma, tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, and medial collateral ligament take place.
- Kneecap dislocations. These are also known as patellar dislocations, and they take place when the knee is twisted so that the kneecap slips out of place, causing pain and an inability to put weight on a leg.
- Crushing. Severe accidents such as car accidents or those involving heavy machinery may crush your leg, requiring surgery or even amputation.
- Shin splints. An overuse injury, shin splints involve the muscles, tendon, and bones of the shins. Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, they are caused by an uptick in exercise or walking on hard surfaces. Employees may experience pain or miss work.
- Post-traumatic arthritis. After a previous injury leads to the loss of cartilage in the knee joint, post-traumatic arthritis may occur. Swelling, pain and stiffness are symptoms, and doctors believe that the condition takes place after bones and other tissues do not heal exactly the right way.
Why It Happens
Getting hurt on the job is more common for some workers than for others, such as construction or factory workers, but it can occur to anybody at any time. Emergency responders and public transportation workers are also more prone to accidents because of their daily tasks. An injury can be either acute or a result of overuse.
Overuse and repetitive motion injuries. These take place when workers put too much stress on their legs and knees, especially as a part of their regular work routine. Shin splints, patellar tendinopathy, iliotibial band syndrome, cartilage disorders, medial plica syndrome, and bursitis are all common consequences of overuse. They can result from too much flexing, over-flexing, walking, and running on hard surfaces. These injuries should be treated with care and also analyzed so that patients are not at risk for reinjuring themselves.
Acute injuries. Health problems that occur after one-time, isolated accidents are known as acute injuries. When they affect the leg or knee, patients often have ligament sprains, meniscal damage, contusions, and dislocations. These are all most common in conjunction with blunt force trauma, from incidents like falls or motor vehicle accidents. Treating acute injuries quickly is important for reducing the chance of long-term damage and complications.
How to Protect your Knees and Legs At Work
Preventing injuries is not always possible, but taking the right steps to do so can significantly improve your chances of avoiding a knee injury. Employers and employees can both take an initiative to decrease the chance of injury by following these steps:
- Warm up and stretch before beginning a day filled with heavy labor.
- Exercise your legs, both the upper leg and lower leg, to strengthen them and build muscles that keep you knee joint secure and in place.
- Make sure you have the proper footwear for your job, which can help prevent a number of overuse and repetitive motion injuries.
- Standing on padding can help relieve your legs, feet, and knees.
- Ensure you are properly trained for the work and jobs that you do.
- If you feel like you’ve sustained a knee or leg injury, get help for it early. Seeing a doctor can significantly help your chances of recovery.
- Keep your knees bent during tasks at work to keep pressure off of your joints.
- Consider losing excess weight to take pressure off of your muscles, bones, and joints. Health and wellbeing go a long way in injury prevention.
Most Commonly Affected Employees
Employees who are exposed to fall hazards, are required to perform heavy lifting, or walk significant distances are significantly more likely to sustain knee and leg injuries. A recent study shows that the following private sector and government workers more likely to suffer from knee problems:
- Transportation and warehousing workers
- Utility workers
- Construction workers
- Health care and social assistance workers
- Justice, public order, and safety activities workers.
- Police and fire protection workers.
- Emergency responders
While all these sectors report high numbers of knee problems, they can occur at any job at any time. Our medical clinic at Pain Stop MD serves a wide range of workers and laborers, including:
- Postal workers
- Construction workers
- Office workers and clerks
- Jail and prison workers
- TSA employees
- Registered nurses
- Forest service employees
- Compliance officers
Pain Stop MD Can Help You
We can help guide you through your injury to recovery, whether you’ve recently been involved in an accident at work or are injured through overuse. Our mission is to get you back on your feet again, back to work and without pain.
Our treatments include the following:
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
Contact us today to learn more about our clinic’s services, or schedule an appointment with a physician.