Work Injury MD: Leg & Knee Injury Treatment For Texas Workers & Federal Employees
A recent study found that in 2007, over 183,000 workers in the United States visited an emergency department due to a knee injury. Tens of thousands more workers are sidelined each year by leg injuries.
Knee and leg injuries can be painful, stressful, and debilitating. Workers who can’t walk, carry, or lift due to injuries to their knees and legs may find themselves not only unable to continue their careers, but also unable to enjoy their everyday lives. Some may need to rely on wheelchairs, crutches, braces, and canes. Others may feel chronic pain all day, every day.
Here are some statistics on occupational knee and leg injuries:
- Knee injuries account for about five percent of all occupational injuries.
- On average, there are 13 injuries for every 10,000 full-time workers each year.
- Knees are the second most commonly injured body part that resulted in one or more days away from work after back injuries.
- Government workers spent nearly twice as many days away from work (over 19 days) after a knee injury as private industry workers (over nine days).
At Work Injury MD, our board-certified doctor works alongside a team of experienced medical professionals to help Dallas area workers and federal employees recover and find wellbeing after an on-the-job injury. Our full-service medical clinic offers everything that a patient needs, from consultations and diagnostic tests to physical therapy and a pain management program. Everything we do for our patients is in a light of thoughtfulness, care, and compassion, and since all of our patients are injured workers, we are specially qualified to give you the support you need from your medical team as you seek workers’ compensation.
Whether you are looking for a second opinion or more information after seeing a company doctor, we are here for you. Call us today to ask a question or to request a consultation.
Common On-The-Job Leg & Knee Injuries In Dallas
The knee is one of the most complex and hard-working joints in the body, and the legs literally carry your weight as you make your way through the day. It is no surprise that these two areas are susceptible to a wide range of injuries – anything from mild injuries that may heal on their own, to serious injuries that may have permanent consequences.
- Sprains and strains. Both the knee and the leg are susceptible to ligament sprains and muscle strains. While most of these conditions are painful but not serious, some can sideline workers for significant amounts of time, such as a serious hamstring sprain.
- Broken Bones. A broken leg means not being able to walk – and also being in a cast or boot for a number of weeks. For workers, it could mean not being able to work and losing their financial stability. Treating broken bones in the leg correctly is key to avoiding long-term health concerns related to the injury.
- Knee cartilage tears. Technically known as meniscus tears, this injury takes place when the knee twists unnaturally. Those with the injury may experience pain, swelling, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. Meniscus tears may simply require ice and rest, or they may require pain management, physical therapy, and surgery.
- ACL, PCL, and MCL tears. Tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL) take place when the knee is violently twisted – usually during a fall or blunt force trauma.
- Kneecap dislocations. Also known as patellar dislocation, this condition takes place when the knee is twisted so that the kneecap slips out of its position. This condition is accompanied by acute pain and the inability to put weight on the leg.
- Crushing injuries. In some severe accidents, such as car accidents or accidents involving heavy machinery, a leg may be crushed, requiring surgery and perhaps amputation.
- Shin splints. Shin splints, known medically as medial tibial stress syndrome, are an overuse injury that involves the muscles, tendon, and bones of the shins. Caused by an uptick in exercise or walking on hard surfaces, shin splints are a painful condition that can lead to missed work and the use of crutches.
- Post-traumatic arthritis. This condition occurs after a previous injury leads to the loss of cartilage in the knee joint. Symptoms include joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. Doctors believe that this condition takes place after bones and other tissues do not heal in exactly the right places, causing misalignments in the knee.
How Worker Leg and Knee Injuries Happen
On-the-job leg injuries and knee injuries can happen to anyone, but they are more common for some workers than others, such as those who work in construction or on the factory floor. Some government jobs, such as emergency responders and public transportation workers, are also more prone to injury due to their daily responsibilities and activities.
Worker leg injuries and knee injuries generally happen in one of two ways: Acute injuries and overuse injuries.
Overuse and repetitive motion injuries take place when workers put too much stress on their knees and legs. Some of the most common overuse injuries for workers include shin splints, patellar tendinopathy, iliotibial band syndrome, cartilage disorders, medial plica syndrome, and bursitis. Overuse is often linked to too much flexing or over-flexing of the knee, or too much walking or running on hard surfaces, which can lead to tiny fractures in the shin bones. It is vital that overuse injuries are not only treated with care, but that the way they happened is analyzed so that similar injuries do not occur, either with the worker in question or to his or her colleagues.
Acute injuries arise from one-time accidents that affect the leg and/or knee. Acute injuries, which include ligament sprains, meniscal damage, contusion, and dislocation, are most common in conjunction with blunt force trauma, as suffered during a fall or a motor vehicle accident. It is very important that acute injuries are treated quickly and with care, so that there are not long-term complications, such as nerve damage or chronic pain.
Preventing Leg and Knee Injuries At Work
While some injuries and accidents are unavoidable, a significant number of leg and knee injuries can and should be prevented in the workplace. Both employees and employers can take steps to decrease the likelihood of injury or re-injury. Here are a few tips to get started:
- If your job involves heavy labor, warmup and stretch before you begin your day.
- Take the time to strengthen your legs – both upper and lower leg exercises build muscles that keep your knee joint secure and in place.
- Wear the proper shoes for your work. Shoes with the proper support and padding can help prevent a number of overuse and repetitive motion injuries.
- Stand on padding. This can help bring relief to your legs, feet, and knees.
- Get trained. Employers should train their workers to understand the issues that lead to common leg and knee injuries.
- Get help early. Seeing a doctor at the first sign of overuse injuries and pain can help you avoid more serious, debilitating, and long-term injuries.
- Don’t lock your knees during tasks, as this puts more pressure on the joint than on the leg muscles.
- Consider weight loss. If you have a high BMI, your knees and legs would benefit from a diet and exercise plan that helps you shed a few pounds. Employees should consider worker programs that promote health and well being.
The Workers Most Commonly Affected By Knee Injuries
Some jobs are significantly more likely to result in knee injuries than others. For example, employees who are exposed to fall hazards, required to perform heavy lifting, or required to walk significant distances are also exposed to knee injury risks. According to a recent study, the following private sector and government workers are more likely to suffer a knee injury:
- 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
It is important to note that although these sectors report high numbers of knee injuries, a knee injury can happen at any job and at almost any time. At Work Injury MD, our medical clinic welcomes a wide range of Texas workers and federal employees, including:
- Postal workers
- Construction workers
- Office workers and clerks
- Jail and prison workers
- TSA employees
- Registered nurses
- Forest service employees
- Compliance officers
How Work Injury MD Can Help
Our staff of medical professionals is here to guide you through your recovery, whether you have recently been involved in a work accident or are struggling to heal from an overuse injury. We want to get you back on your feet after a leg or knee injury – back at work, without pain.
We offer a range of treatments, including:
To learn more about our offerings, or to schedule an appointment with a physician, please call us today or fill out our short electronic contact form.