A major knee injury can limit your ability to work and function in your daily life. If you’ve experienced a knee injury at your Georgia workplace, you may benefit from a procedure such as an ACL repair or reconstruction. Before deciding if ACL surgery is right for you, it’s important to know how these procedures are done, their potential benefits and risks, and how they can contribute to your overall recovery and return to work.
Whether you’ve just had a knee injury at your Georgia workplace or you’re living with a knee injury caused by your work history, it’s important to build a strong case around your injury to make sure that your Georgia employer offers you the benefits that you deserve. Working with the workers’ compensation system can be difficult, but one of our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at Gearhart Law Group can help you move forward with confidence.
What is an ACL Repair?
Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a strong, durable band of tissue that connects the bones of your knee together. The ACL is important for providing stability during movement, especially during bending and twisting. When your ACL is overstressed, it can tear or rupture.
An ACL repair surgery involves surgically repairing the torn ligament to restore stability and functioning in the knee joint. During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will make an incision near your knee, remove any damaged tissue from around the torn ligament, and fortify the ACL to promote healing and restore stability.
An ACL reconstruction surgery is a more complex procedure which involves taking tissue from another part of the body, such as the patellar tendon or hamstring muscles, and grafting it into place to rebuild the torn ligament. This procedure can improve stability in the knee joint and allow for more consistent results than with an ACL repair alone. Because a reconstruction is more invasive, recovery is often longer.
ACL surgery can provide many potential benefits including improved stability in the knee joint, reduced pain, increased range of motion, and ultimately return to work. With proper care and rehabilitation, you may be able to get back to work faster and more effectively than without surgery.
Recovery time after an ACL repair or reconstruction will vary based on the type of procedure that was used. In many cases recovery will take several months depending on the activities you are returning to. For example, those returning to heavy work duties or sports may need more than one year to recover from surgery enough to handle certain activities. Make sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions after surgery to optimize healing and minimize the risk of re-injury.
What is an ACL Repair Used To Treat?
ACL repair is used to treat tears or ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). These injuries often happen due to sudden impact, such as a blow to the knee or sudden twisting, or from repetitive stress over time during work activities involving bending, lifting, and twisting of your knee.
During a sudden ACL injury, many people report a loud “pop” or other noise in their knee. Symptoms after injury can include painful walking or weight bearing, knee swelling and stiffness, and leg weakness. In some cases, ACL tears can heal on their own with good self care and exercise. However, if left untreated, an ACL tear can lead to faster wear on the knee and contribute to chronic instability.
Older adults who are not active in sports or planning to return to manual labor may be recommended to opt out of ACL surgery, as many people can function fully in everyday life with a torn or ruptured ACL. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your specific needs to determine if surgery is the right choice for your lifestyle.
Is ACL Repair Surgery Safe?
ACL repair and reconstruction are generally considered to be relatively safe and routine procedures. However, there are some potential risks and complications associated with any type of surgery that should be considered. Risk of infection, nerve damage, and blood clotting after surgery are all possible, although your surgeon will take precautions to minimize these risks. Your health history may make you more at risk for certain complications, so it’s important to talk with your doctor before surgery to ensure the safest possible outcome.
Some common side effects after an ACL surgery include temporary pain, swelling, stiffness and numbness in the knee joint. During your initial recovery, you may also be asked to ice and elevate your knee, wear a knee brace for support, and use crutches to limit weight bearing in your leg.
Will I Need Other Treatments?
After surgery your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy, which is an important part of the recovery process. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your range of motion, strength, and stability in the knee joint. Depending on the type of ACL procedure you had, your physical therapist will use a variety of techniques such as stretching, strengthening exercises, and gait training to help normalize the function of your knee. Physical therapy can help you heal faster and protect your knee from future injuries after returning to work.
Knee bracing can be helpful after ACL surgery, especially while returning to work. By providing additional support to the knee joint, a brace can help reduce unwanted motion, pain, and swelling while relearning or practicing certain movements. This is especially important to prevent damage to the ACL when pushing your limits in therapy or at work. Another benefit of knee bracing is improved confidence and feelings of security during activities like walking or running.
Getting important treatments covered for your workplace knee injury can be challenging without legal representation, so it’s important to find the best workers’ compensation attorney available to get the benefits you need.
Contact an Atlanta Injury Attorney
The Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers at The Gearhart Law Group represent victims of work-related injuries and assist them in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Our lawyers understand how your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance companies try to save money by either denying your claim or by underpaying your claim. We know how to fight any objections they may have and pursue all the Georgia workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us now so we can evaluate your individual case and advise you of your next legal steps as well as ensuring you are receiving the best medical care for your injuries.