Why Cartilage Tears and Work-Related Injuries Need to Be Diagnosed & Treated
Many people work in demanding jobs where there’s a higher risk of injury to knees and elbows. You may have suffered an injury that you’re trying to ignore. You’re back at work, but the injury is lingering. It’s important to have cartilage tears and other work-related injuries properly diagnosed, so your physician can recommend a proper treatment plan. Treatment will help your injury to heal and prevent it from flaring up in the future. Plus, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation insurance while you recover.
What is a Cartilage Tear?
Cartilage is a type of tissue found in your body that is both tough and flexible. It molds your joints and acts as a shock absorber. It allows your bones to move smoothly over one another with natural movements of walking, running, stretching, or bending.
Cartilage helps to reduce friction and the potential for injuries, though they can still occur from excessive lifting, strains, sprains, or accidents.
It’s also one of the first parts to become injured. Cartilage injuries occur most frequently in the knee joints and the elbow joints.
What Are Symptoms of Cartilage Tears?
There may be an indication that you have cartilage tears in your body if you are experiencing any pain in your joints. There may also be stiffness or swelling in these locations. You may also experience less movement.
One of the problems with cartilage tears is that they don’t heal as quickly as your other injuries. Cartilage has a lack of blood flow which plays a large part in healing our bodies of bruises, so it cannot repair itself in the same way as other damaged skin or muscles.
Your doctor will examine your injury. They’ll start with a physical examination, then recommend an MRI scan or an arthroscopy. Once a cartilage tear has been diagnosed, various treatment plans may be explored.
Treatment Plans Available for Cartilage Tears
Most people’s cartilage tears will heal up after a few weeks. But if your injury isn’t getting better, it may need treatment. The first step will be to fit you with an elbow or a knee support. This will help to prevent further damage and help to reduce the pain from swelling.
Many people are leery of surgical treatments so they’ll begin with nonsurgical options. These can involve taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. Supports and braces may need to be worn.
Physiotherapy can help to restore full movement to your damaged limb. You may also be required to adapt to a lifestyle change in order to prevent future injuries.
If none of the above works, then it’s possible that surgery can be effective in repairing and alleviating the damage in your joints. There are several different surgical procedures that your doctor can recommend.
If you’ve slipped or fallen at work and are feeling pain, it’s important to report it to the company’s first aid department. You may be sent home to rest and keep an eye on it. For any excessive pain or lingering injuries, head to your nearest urgent care center to get it checked out.