Workplace injuries happen, including to people whose jobs seem comfortable and safe. Even if you work in an office at a desk all day, you could end up with an orthopedic problem. In fact, orthopedic injuries are the reason for many Workers’ Compensation claims.
The term orthopedics corresponds to anything related to your muscles, bones, joints, and related tissues. For example, a twisted ankle would be an orthopedic injury. The same is true of a torn rotator cuff, plantar fasciitis, or a knee sprain.
The problem with orthopedic injuries is that they can take a lot of time to heal properly. Treatment can include anything from months of physical therapy to several surgeries. This means you need to take any signs of job-related orthopedic injuries seriously. If you do not tell your employer and submit for Workers’ Compensation benefits, you could end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket.
How Orthopedic Injuries Happen at Work
Orthopedic injuries can occur in a variety of ways. One of the most common reasons is repetitive motions. For instance, someone who works at a computer all day may suffer carpal tunnel syndrome from overuse of the tendons and muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists. Any action you do repeatedly, from stacking boxes to picking items off an assembly line, can lead to orthopedic issues.
Another reason for orthopedic injuries is direct trauma. This means you may be hit by an object, slip and fall, or run into something hard. As long as you were performing your work duty at the time and acting professionally, you should be able to make a Workers’ Compensation claim to cover your medical bills and any missed workdays.
You can also hurt yourself orthopedically if you use improper motions. Consider what would happen if you constantly moved heavy items from one area to another without using good lifting behaviors. You would be at risk of harming yourself. Many workers end up at orthopedists’ offices because of poor habits that may be caused by inadequate or spotty training, unrealistic production expectations, or lack of access to assistive equipment such as forklifts and dollies.
Taken together, these common causes of work-related orthopedic injuries can and do lead to many diagnoses annually of bone fractures, bursitis, tennis elbow, dislocations, neck and back pain, muscular sprains and strains, and other types of injuries.
Are You Experiencing a Workplace Orthopedic Injury?
You might not know right away if you have an orthopedic injury. Employees sometimes attribute their medical condition to getting older or another factor. Many never see a medical professional at all. But taking a wait-and-see approach only prolongs the problem and prevents workers from getting the care they deserve.
If you are uncertain whether to see your primary care provider or an orthopedic specialist, be aware of the following physical symptoms:
- Shooting pain or nagging discomfort that occurs when you perform a specific function. Typically, when you stop the activity, the uncomfortable feeling should subside to some extent.
- Muscular, nerve, or soft tissue aches, twinges, or tingling that gets worse throughout the day. These may or may not feel less intense when you are at home and can rest.
- Limited range of motion of a joint or limited flexibility. This often turns into a progressive issue that continues to get worse.
- Inability to use a part of the body normally. For instance, a worker who suffers from an on-the-job knee injury may begin to limp to compensate for the condition.
Of course, if you suffer sudden bodily trauma, you should always get it checked right away. You may have extensive injuries that require immediate treatment.
Can I Apply for Workers’ Compensation for an Orthopedic Injury?
Workers’ Compensation benefits are in place to help you in the case of a workplace injury, including orthopedic injuries that present acute or chronic symptoms. If your orthopedic trauma was caused by your job duties, you can apply for Workers’ Compensation after first reporting your injury to your employer as soon as possible.
If your claim is initially denied by the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier or your employer, you can appeal on your own or with the help of a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. Many initially denied Workers’ Compensation claims are accepted on appeal, especially if the claim has been revised with the assistance of a legal professional.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Fight for Injured Employees Whose Initial Claims Have Been Denied
If your Workers’ Compensation claim for an orthopedic injury was denied, reach out to the Downingtown Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC. We will investigate the circumstances regarding your accident and fight to obtain the benefits for which you are entitled. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. We are located in Exton, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.