L&I Claim for Knee Work Injury – Workers Compensation Legal Blogs Posted by Tara Reck, Esq.

Injuries to the knee in the workplace are very common in the employee compensation ecosystem. The Ministry of Labor and Industry (L&I) examined the frequency of knee claims from 1999 to 2007. In summary, they found that 7% of all claims concern knee problems. In practice, this means around 25,000 knee injury incidents in less than 10 years. According to L&I, knee injuries occur primarily among workers in carpentry, truck driving, nursing and household work.

Workplace knee injury

The knee is a complex joint. This is where the lower leg and thigh connect. In other words, the knee joint is the meeting point for the shins and thighs. This important joint has to support weight and connect two large leg bones. That means it has to be strong, flexible and stable. As a result, there are many important parts of the knee joint that make it functional.

The patella (also known as the kneecap) is located in the center of the knee. There is a medial (or inner) meniscus and a lateral (or outer) meniscus. The meniscus is a tough, crescent-like piece of cartilage that cushions and absorbs impacts in the joint. There are also four ligaments in the knee that connect the bones. These ligaments are the medial collateral ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the anterior cruciate ligament, and the fibular collateral ligament. Of the four types, the L&I suggests that the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments are the most vulnerable to workplace injuries.

Then there are bursa, which are sacs of fluid that surround the knee joint. They help with communication and lubrication in the joint. The bursa act like a pillow and reduce friction in the joint. The knee also has tendons and muscles. They connect muscles and bones and give the joint strength and stability. Unfortunately, all of these parts of the knee are prone to work accidents as well as wear and tear.

L&I data on knee injuries at work

In work, there are many ways knee injuries occur. There are also many work activities that place additional stress on the joint and increase wear and tear over time. It is clear that knee injuries and frequent wear and tear can also occur outside of work.

In my experience, the knee conditions in an L&I claim vary from relatively minor to extremely severe. Doctors often first diagnose knee disease as a sprain or strain, which we discussed earlier. However, according to the data collected by L&I, work-related knee disease also includes meniscus damage and ligament damage. They also include a condition called chondromalacia patellae, tendinitis, bursitis, and enthesopathy. Of course, a serious traumatic accident at work can also lead to bruises, fractures and joint fractures.

L&I guides and publications on injuries and conditions associated with knee work

L & I extensively examined knee conditions in the workplace. Hence, there are many guidelines for treating knee disease. In 2017, L&I published a 50-page document describing conservative care options for work-related knee disease. The document describes and divides the treatment options. It also provides treatment schedules and contains specific diagnoses, resources, and recommendations.

In general, L & I’s treatment protocols prefer to try all conservative options. If they fail, doctors recommend more invasive treatment. Interestingly, L&I published surgical guidelines for work-related knee injuries in 2016. This 28-page document describes the criteria by which L&I approves the treatment. In addition, it covers a wide variety of surgical procedures that are appropriate for specific situations.

Notes and summary

In summary, the knee is a complex joint. Knee injuries as a result of work activity are quite common. In addition, there are many parts of the knee that can be injured. Knee injuries can be minor or serious. In fact, there are cases where minor knee damage becomes more severe over time.

L&I has researched knee conditions and has numerous resources for accident claimants. The same resources are used by the Employee Compensation Attorney as well as the attending physician for your L&I claim. Medical providers, in particular, can use these valuable resources to ensure that knee claims progress appropriately.

Further information: https://tarareck.com/l-and-i-claim-knee-injury/

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Ms. Tara Reck is the executive L&I attorney at Reck Law – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Washington State. If you would like further information, please contact Ms. Reck via:
* Seattle | Bellevue | Mercer Island Office: (206) 395-6141
* Tacoma Office: (253) 999-9828
* Renton office: (425) 800-8195
* Port Orchard Office: (360) 876-4123
* Email: [email protected]
* Your Workers’ Compensation blog at https://tarareck.com/contact/ or their company website at https://recklaw.com/contact/

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