x ray of knee

According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Injury and Casualty Data, there have been, on average, over 100 reportable knee injuries each year for the past 5 years across the railroad industry. From strains, sprains, fractures and tears, knee injuries happen regularly. While some of these injuries can resolve from a few days of rest, others are more serious. They may require surgeries and extended time away from work, with physical therapy assisting in building up the strength in the affected joint to return to a very physically demanding job.

Tears of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL tear) – this ligament connects your femur to your tibia, and the injury is usually accompanied by a popping feeling or sound. This injury can result in instability in the knee. These injuries often occur when landing awkwardly (such as from getting off moving equipment), or from unsteady ballast.

Tears of the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL tear) – the MCL is on the inside of the knee, also connecting your femur to the tibia. This is often caused by shifting directions, lifting heavy objects, landing awkwardly or hyper extending the knee. This is typically diagnosed by an MRI after a physician performs a physical examination after the injury.

Tears of the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL tear) or Tears of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL tear) – these ligament injuries are less likely to occur on their own, but often are found along with the tear of another ligament.

Meniscal Tear – for a torn meniscus, these injuries may take up to 24 hours or more for pain or swelling to begin. These can occur from twisting injuries, and can be complicated for FELA recovery due to the lack of immediate pain.

Treatment for ligament and meniscal tears can include knee arthroscopy – a surgery where a camera is inserted into the joint and the surgeon can repair the knee as well as remove any damaged bone and cartilage. Recovery after surgery typically includes regaining the range of motion in the knee and returning the strength to the surrounding muscles.
If you have suffered a knee injury while working for the railroad, contact us to discuss a potential claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act to recover for the pain, suffering and lost income that is caused by such an injury. Our office has handled many knee injury lawsuits and settlements on behalf of injured railroad workers and would be happy to discuss the specifics of your injury with you during a free initial consultation.