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Workers Compensation Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee injuries at work can cause many difficulties.  These injuries often affect your ability to stand, walk, squat, climb, and lift.  The restrictions from a serious knee injury may prevent you from doing your job and keep you out of work.

After evaluating your knee injury, your doctor may recommend surgery.  Sometimes, this surgery may be a more minor surgery.  Other times, the doctor may determine that you need a partial or total knee replacement.

If your doctor recommends knee replacement surgery, it may frighten you.  After all, knee replacement surgery is a serious surgery with an extended recovery time.  Almost 800,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S.

Repairman knee painWhat if the insurance company refuses to pay for knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is also expensive.  Because it is expensive, the workers’ compensation insurance company often will refuse to pay for knee replacement surgery.

The insurance company may try to argue that your employment did not cause you to need the knee replacement.  The insurance company may blame the knee replacement on your age or a previous knee injury.

The insurance company will often try to get the doctor to say that your knee replacement was mostly caused by these things instead of your workers compensation injury.  They will try to make this argument even when your knee was doing fine before you got hurt at work.

It is important to understand that you do not need to have a perfect knee prior to your injury for knee replacement to be covered under workers compensation.  Even if you had prior knee problems, the insurance company should still pay for your knee replacement surgery if your employment made your knee worse and caused the need for surgery.

If the insurance company refuses to pay for your surgery, do not just accept your denial.  There are things you can do.  Find out more by reading our article about what you can do when an insurance company denies treatment.

What happens after my knee replacement surgery?

After surgery, you will go through a period of recovery.  This often involves physical therapy and check up visits with your doctor.

Many people have questions about how long it will take for them to walk on their own and to return to work.  I am an attorney, not a doctor.  So, I’ll leave it to medical experts to give you a better idea about what sort of time period you can expect for your recovery after your surgery.

This information from the Mayo Clinic may be helpful to you.  Also, I would suggest that you discuss your recovery with the doctor performing the surgery.  It is often helpful to have your questions written down so you can make sure and cover them with your doctor.

Will I receive a permanent partial disability rating?

After you have recovered from your surgery, your doctor should assign you a permanent partial disability rating.  Currently, Georgia law requires the doctor to use the 5th Edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

Your doctor should rate your knee replacement using Table 17-33 and Table 17-35.  These tables allow the doctor to evaluate how successful your knee replacement was.  Some of the factors your doctor will consider include:

  • The residual pain you have after surgery
  • Range of motion in your knee
  • The stability of your knee
  • Your knee alignment

If you have a good outcome from your knee replacement, you should end up with a permanent partial disabiltiy rating of 37 percent to the lower extremity.  If your outcome is only fair or poor, then you will end up with a higher permanent partial disability rating.

What if I cannot go back to work after surgery?

I have represented many clients who have had knee replacement surgery as a result of their injuries at work.  Many of them had good results from their surgeries.  The surgery usually reduces their pain.  But, almost all of them still end up with permanent activity limitations from their doctors.

Many times, these limitations make it difficult to work.  If you have a physically demanding job, you should probably talk to an attorney to find out how your workers’ compensation case is affected if you cannot go back to your old job after your surgery.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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