One of the most common work related injuries involves trauma to the knee. For those involved in heavier physical labor, a knee injury can result in extensive periods of lost time unless properly treated.
It is common for arthroscopic surgery to be performed to treat meniscus tears.
According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Guidelines, a post surgical knee injury will translate into a permanent loss of function of the leg. This loss of function will result in a schedule loss of use finding by a Law Judge.
The entire leg, according to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Guidelines, translates to 288 weeks of compensation. Unless there is a significant amputation, the claimant will be left with a percentage loss of the entire leg. For example, meniscus excision, depending on whether there are joint deficits or atrophy, will generally result in a schedule loss of use of 7 ½% to 15%.
Those with work related knee injuries should always keep in mind that any lost wages paid during their period of disability will be subtracted from the overall schedule loss of use award. This means that the sooner a claimant is able to return to work, the better chance he or she will receive a more significant monetary award when permanency is found.
Generally, the law requires that period of one year post surgery expire before a medical determination regarding schedule loss of use can be made. If there is no surgery, that determination may be made one-year post injury.