Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stresses on Knees of Older Workers May Lead Them to Claim Workers' Compensation

Dr. David Cooper, director of orthopedic surgery at The Knee Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, suggests that knees may be the latest challenge facing aging workers and their employers, as people in their 50s, 60s and older are stay in the workforce and find their knees bearing the brunt. However, Dr. Cooper says that "there is no scientific evidence suggesting repetitive standing causes [arthritis] to accelerate" and that employers need to be wary of workers with preexisting osteoarthritis who blame work-related activities for causing them more pain.

According to Dr. Cooper, arthritis is a disease, not a function of aging; it is genetic and therefore cannot be caused or aggravated by work tasks. He does make some suggestions to mitigate discomfort:
  • Minimize the use of stairs and ladders;
  • Use elevators whenever possible;
  • Use foam mats to provide a cushion on hard floors;
  • Wear comfortable shoes to absorb the pressure; and
  • Walk around occasionally instead of constantly standing in one spot.
Source: Risk & Insurance "Orthopedic surgeon says work activities do not aggravate arthritis" (October 11, 2010)

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