Decatur Shoulder & Knee Injury Lawyer
Help With Workers’ Comp Claims in Decatur
Shoulder and knee injuries are quite common in the workplace; they happen in traumatic accidents and also show up over months or years of performing the same repetitive movement. These injuries are often extremely painful and debilitating. People with shoulder and knee injuries might not be able to work or drive to work; some may not even be able to stand until they heal up. At the very least, shoulder and knee injuries likely require significant time off work or on light duty while tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments heal. At the extreme end, injured workers might require artificial joint replacements in order to regain lost mobility and function.
What’s important is that your injury is properly diagnosed and treated. This means that you get the tests you need and that your doctor drives your treatment plan and not the insurance company. Insurance companies like to monitor costs, cut off benefits and send you back to work quickly, but Georgia workers’ compensation law is clear; you should get the proper medical care you need and the right level of wage replacement for the proper length of time. We can help with that. Call the O’Connell Law Firm if you’ve suffered a knee or shoulder injury at work and want to make sure you are getting the benefits to which you are entitled.
Shoulder Injuries on the Job in Decatur
When people hear about a shoulder injury, they are likely to think about a rotator cuff tear. The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that keep the ball of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the socket of the scapula (shoulder bone). When working properly, this ball-and-socket joint provides a complete range of motion for the arm. Unfortunately, the muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff can become inflamed, greatly diminishing the range of motion in the shoulder. This inflammation or tendinitis can be treated with physical therapy, rest and pain meds, while an actual tear in the rotator cuff might require a surgical repair. Rotator cuff surgeries can be arthroscopic or open, up to and including tendon replacement or replacement of the shoulder joint with an artificial shoulder.
A rotator cuff injury generally presents as pain on the outside of the shoulder radiating down the upper arm to the elbow, accompanied by a decreased range of motion. Other shoulder injuries could be the culprit as well, however, so it is essential to get a complete examination and testing for the right diagnosis. Other common shoulder injuries include:
- Glenoid labrum tear
- Dislocated shoulder
- Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
- Shoulder impingement
Workplace Knee Injuries
Knee injuries can be extremely painful and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk, or bear any weight on the injured joint. From office space to an industrial factory floor, a simple slip or trip and fall, twisting the knee or falling hard on the bone, can inflict a serious injury. The two most well-known knee injuries are ACL tears and meniscus tears.
The ACL is a ligament, a tough piece of tissue that connects the tibia (shin bone) with the femur (thighbone). When the ACL is torn or sprained, getting around can be very painful and difficult if not impossible. ACL injuries can occur in a sudden stop or turn, a fall and hard landing, or if the person twists their body with their foot planted in place, such as while catching or moving a heavy object. This injury is often accompanied by a “popping” sound the victim can hear. An ACL injury is often referred to as blowing the knee out.
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage lying underneath the patella (kneecap) on the left and right sides of the knee. The meniscus serves to cushion the knee as well as the femur and tibia. The meniscus can be torn by forcefully twisting or rotating the knee, or it can degenerate over time after repetitive heavy lifting, squatting or kneeling.
Other common knee injuries include:
- Chondromalacia (runner’s knee)
- Ligament injury
- Cartilage damage
- Kneecap fracture, contusion or dislocation
- PCL tear
Treatment for a knee injury can involve arthroscopic surgery or total knee replacement. Even without surgery, it can take weeks or months for bones and cartilage to heal. During this time, the worker may need to be resting at home or working on light duty with work restrictions.
Help With Shoulder and Knee Injury Workers’ Compensation in Decatur
It can be difficult to get the right amount of workers’ compensation for a shoulder or knee injury. The insurance carrier might say the injury is due to some degenerative condition or a sports injury unrelated to work. It’s important to know that even if you do have a preexisting condition, you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits to the extent your condition is aggravated at work.
If you are unsure whether you are getting the right kind of care, treatment and benefits for your shoulder or knee injury, find an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can take a look at your claim and advise you on your options. In Decatur, call the O’Connell Law Firm for a free initial consultation at 404-410-0034.