This post discusses ACL tears and physical therapy under NC Worker's Compensation. ACL tears are a frequent injury in NC workers’ compensation cases and often require extensive physical therapy treatment. In 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers hurt their knees 76,130 times.
ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and serves to stabilize your knee during side-to-side movements. Your ACL is a major ligament in your knee. When this ligament takes too much force, it can tear. The required force, unfortunately, can be a movement as simple as stopping suddenly, changing direction or landing from a jump. This tear is usually felt or heard with a “pop” of the knee. Immediately after the tear, your knee may swell, feel unstable and be extremely painful with weight bearing (Via Mayo Clinic).
ACL tears can be diagnosed by simple physical examination of your knee by a doctor, who will be looking to determine if your bone is moving abnormally. In addition, an MRI can be used to diagnosis an ACL tear. While x-rays are generally used as the first step in determining the type and severity of an injury, they do not demonstrate ACL tears (Via WebMD).
Though surgical intervention is an option for the repair of a partially or completely torn ACL, it is not the first treatment suggested. In fact, the older the injured worker is, the less likely a surgery will correct the injury and allow for a return to pre-injury functionality. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals who undergo ACL reconstructive surgery develop knee arthritis.
In many cases, physical therapy is the preferred method to address an ACL injury. The purpose of physical therapy is to increase the knee’s range of motion, muscle strength, and stability. This can be a painful process, but usually will allow the average person to regain use and stability in the knee without invasive surgery. But, as with all injuries, it is imperative that the injured worker follow the recommendations of their treating physician.
ACL tears and physical therapy under NC workers’ compensation cases often go together. The impact of a knee injury at work can have implications for your case. Check with a NC workers’ compensation attorney for what that can mean for your case today.
The Bishop Law Firm represents clients injured on the job in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas of North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win, and we offer free case evaluations. Call us today, (919) 615-3095.