Knee injuries can create long term impairments and limitations on your ability to work. Therefore, if you hurt your knee on the job, you should not hesitate reporting your injury, or delay filing a report of an on-the-job injury to your company’s workers’ compensation supervisor.
Knee injuries can arise from falls, twisting awkwardly, carrying heavy objects or even just overuse. Whatever the cause, if you feel a “pop” in your knee, or if you experience significant stiffness, swelling or pain, it is time to report your injury. When you file your first report of injury and when you speak to the workers’ compensation doctor, make sure to describe exactly where you are feeling pain, and make sure to state that your knee injury arose from work activity.
The workers’ compensation insurance adjuster assigned to your case and perhaps even the posted panel doctor may try to suggest that your current knee injury actually arose from a long ago football injury or a prior accident. Don’t be fooled – a fully healed, non-symptomatic injury from the past should have little or nothing to do with your current claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you sense that the insurance company is looking to deny you based on a pre-existing condition, you would be wise to speak with an attorney about how to proceed.
MRI Test Usually Needed to Properly Diagnose a Knee Injury
More often than not, your knee injury will require some sort of treatment and there is no benefit to you in waiting to report it as a workers’ compensation claim.
As I discuss in video above video, almost any type of serious injury requires an MRI scan for an accurate diagnosis. Your employer’s posted panel doctor will likely not order an MRI right away – they are costly diagnostic tests – but will likely prescribe rest, a brace or physical therapy.
I also suggest that you take photos of your damaged knee to document swelling, discoloration and limited movement.
If your knee pain and mobility do not get better after a few days, you should not accept delay in obtaining an MRI. You need to know if you have damage to your meniscus, your ACL, your MCL or any other structure in your knee. Continued stress on your knee from walking, bending, kneeling, standing or even sitting will result in more swelling and damage.
Again, if you are getting pushback from your employer or their insurance adjuster, please pick up your phone and call me. I can be reached at 770-351-0801.