Some workers are at risk of serious knee injuries because of their job duties. These can be painful and are sometimes activity-limiting. Serious injuries and ones that occur to people who have intense jobs can also end careers.
One injury that is particularly troublesome is a torn anterior cruciate ligament. This is commonly associated with a sudden stop in movement, having to jump, or making quick changes in direction. Using proper body mechanics and having proper safety gear can help to prevent this injury.
Cable installers, construction workers and those who have climb-on ladders often suffer from ACL injuries. It is sometimes necessary to take time off work. If the injury happened at work, filing a workers' compensation claim may benefit you.
Symptoms of an ACL injury
When the injury occurs, you may hear or feel a pop in your knee. You will likely feel unstable when you try to put pressure on the affected leg. Bearing weight will be extremely painful. Within hours of the tear occurring, you will notice swelling and will have a loss in the range of motion in that leg.
It is always a good idea to seek medical care if you have symptoms that point to a knee injury. With the amount of weight you put on your knees daily, it is easy for a minor injury to worsen considerably very quickly.
Extent of the injury
It is possible to overextend the ACL without tearing it. This will be painful but often won't require invasive procedures to correct. Ligament tears can be partial or complete, but both types will likely require surgery and intensive therapy afterward.
People who have suffered an injury to the ACL are at an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis, which can be painful and might lead to surgeries in the future. This risk is increased even more with more serious injuries.
The extent of the injury and the type of care you need directly impact what type of benefit you can receive. If your knee isn't expected to return to normal and you have a work history full of physically demanding work, filing for Social Security disability insurance might be in order. This would provide you with a regular, fixed income based on your work history.