Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*

Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist*

Does a torn meniscus qualify for worker’s comp?

You probably don’t think that much about your knees – until they hurt or refuse to support your weight. 

Unfortunately, knee joints can be particularly prone to on-the-job injuries, and meniscus tears can be common among construction workers, factory employees and warehouse workers. 

What’s a meniscus and how does it get injured?

The meniscus is a piece of curved cartilage in each of your knees that acts like a sort of combination “shock absorber” and stabilizer for your knee joints. Meniscus tears commonly result from sudden stops or twisting movements that put too much strain on the joint for the meniscus to hold. Symptoms include:

  • Sudden, severe pain in your knee
  • Intense pain when trying to bend, twist or walk
  • Swelling and stiffness around the affected knee
  • Limited range of motion 
  • A feeling that something in your knee is “catching”

Often, a torn meniscus can heal on its own if given time. Other times, it may take surgery. Either way, that means being off your feet for a while, which may mean some time off work.

What are some common causes of meniscus tears?

Most of the time, a meniscus tear happens very suddenly as the result of a single, traumatic event – although your odds of having a meniscus tear may be increased if your work requires you to do a lot of walking on hard floors or over uneven ground, or you’re constantly kneeling or squatting (both of which put pressure on your knees). Slips and falls and straining with your knees while lifting or carrying heavy objects can also cause a torn meniscus. 

It’s important to understand that “bad knees” are not just a result of aging. If your torn meniscus happened on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you have other age-related issues with your knees. If your claim is denied, it may be time to learn more about your legal options.