From bending to kneeling, every day we use our knees at work and in day to day activities like sports or driving. This joint is essential in enabling us to perform virtually every movement we need, which makes a torn ligament a debilitating experience for millions of people every year.
Knee injuries are commonplace for many workers in the construction and warehouse industry due to repetitive motions or slipping and falling. Torn ligaments can also happen because of traumatizing impacts like those in car accidents. When these injuries occur, we find ourselves unable to pursue our daily routines and responsibilities until we get evaluated and treated.
Still, many adults don’t realize how seriously they have hurt themselves and try to tough it out; they assume it’s just everyday aches and pains associated with getting older or just a minor knee injury they can walk off.
Trying to decipher if your knee pain is just normal aches after a long day on the work floor or a symptom of an underlying injury is difficult at times. This is especially true after a car accident since many crash victims will have some form of bruising and inflammation from a violent impact. Those who experience a fall or trip and slip at their job may have a knee injury but try to initially shake it off and keep working.
All of these situations warrant a medical evaluation by your physician before dismissing it as normal pain. Failing to do so could leave to permanent damage that affects how you walk and keep your balance. Several types of injuries may appear as just knee pain at first, such as:
Bruising – Discoloration at the site of impact and in other surrounding tissue is common from falling, bumping and/or colliding into other objects, as well as strains and sprains. Sometimes, it can also indicate a more serious knee injury like a torn ligament.
Patellar Tendinitis – This inflammation of tendons within the knee is a result of too much physical stress on the joint during exercise or other physical activities. This condition can develop gradually and may not seem like an injury as pain could be mild.
Chondromalacia Patellae – When one experiences a fall, or other traumatic impacts to the knee, the cartilage that protects the kneecap is damaged. It will cause pain and associated noises, like clicking when bending and straightening your joint. Typically pain will worsen when using the stairs, kneeling, and/or squatting.
Dislocated Kneecap – You can dislocate your knee cap when your suffer blunt force trauma after an auto accident or fall. Painful popping sounds and the inability to straighten out your leg are common symptoms of this injury.
Kneecap Fractures – This injury is severely painful and is typically caused by a fall or major impact to the knee that breaks the kneecap. Other issues with the supporting ligaments and tendons may be present, as well.
Torn ACL – This is a common athletic injury that happens when making sudden directional changes. Torn ACLs can also occur in the workplace for employees who are twisting and walking during their duties throughout the day.
When trying to decide if you are dealing with simple knee trauma or a more serious injury, remember that discomfort of this joint could indicate more than just aches. It’s possible that pain will get worse slowly or feel terrible right away. One should not hesitate to have their knee assessed for potential medical issues after getting hurt at work or on the road.
For those who hurt their knee at work, in a car accident, or playing sports, it’s important not to push yourself and suffer through the pain. You may complicate and worsen your condition, which translates to longer recovery time. Communicate with your injury doctor about the discomfort you are experiencing and undergo a thorough evaluation to document your injury claim if hurt on the job or in a collision.
If you aren’t sure what to do after hurting your knee, review the FAQ below for further information:
X-rays can reveal if bones have fractures, but do not offer views of soft tissue injuries like ligaments and tendons. Physicians may perform physical manipulation testing or order an MRI to determine the condition of one’s knee after a workers compensation or a car accident.
From severe pain that stops you from activities to audible popping sensations within your knee, the rapid swelling and range of motion increase the discomfort of a torn knee ligament. Inflammation and sharp pain are common symptoms of this condition.
Many times, the level of pain and swelling you experience after hurting your knee determines how well you can walk on your knee or not. Often, the first few days following this injury type will heavily affect your ability to walk.
The type of treatment you receive for a torn knee ligament depends on the extent of your knee injury. You may only need ice and pain relievers for minor tears or have to undergo orthopedic surgery to repair if resting it is not enough.
Ligament tears within knee have a good outlook for recovery whether surgical solutions were used or not. Healing time length will depend upon the type of ligament tear that occurred, and the treatment plan you must follow.
It’s of critical importance to consult with a trusted physician or orthopaedist when experiencing knee pain to obtain a proper assessment and care plan. Assuming knee discomfort is not serious or trying to power through it, could possibly complicate underlying issues and cost you an even longer recovery period. Always talk with your New York injury doctor if you experience any symptoms like those mentioned in this article.