HomeFAQsMaritime InjuriesWhat are the long-term costs associated with a knee injury after a maritime accident?

What are the long-term costs associated with a knee injury after a maritime accident?

The long-term costs associated with a knee injury at sea will depend on the severity of the injury. If a maritime injury has put one of your knees out of commission, you should speak with a New Orleans accident attorney to determine whether it would be beneficial to file an injury claim.

Knee injuries refer to any injury to the ligaments, tendons, and bones that make up the knee joint, including tears, inflammation, contusions, dislocations, fractures and ruptures.

Symptoms of knee injuries include:

  • Popping or crackling sounds
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured knee
  • Visible deformity

Costs Associated with Knee Injuries

When you have an injury such as torn cartilage that can be repaired through arthroscopic surgery, be aware that the price of the surgery averages around $12,000. If your maritime injury results in the need for knee-replacement surgery, you may face a surgical bill of $40,000. If you need a partial knee replacement, it may cost around $20,000.

If a hospital stay is required, that may be an additional cost. Other expenses include many physical therapy sessions, medical devices, such as crutches, and prescription and over-the-counter medication.

You may also need to make some adjustments at home, such as adding safety bars in your shower and arm supports near your toilet seat. If you must climb stairs, you may have to make accommodations for first-floor living quarters.

In addition to medical costs, you will lose income as you could be out of work for a significant amount of time. Even if you just sprained your knee, it will take time to heal. If you return to work too quickly, you’ll risk re-injuring your knee.

Whenever you suffer a debilitating injury at sea, you should find representation with a Louisiana maritime lawyer before you accept Workers’ Compensation benefits. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to file a Jones Act claim to receive maximum compensation for any type of injury you’ve sustained.

How long does it typically take to recover from knee surgery?

A knee injury can be a painful and disabling experience that may require surgery to repair torn soft tissues in the joint. Seamen who undergo knee surgery after boat accidents may need weeks, even months, to recover.

The time of recovery from ship accidents that result in knee surgery depends on the severity of the maritime injuries and the type of surgery performed. Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive and usually results in only a few weeks of recovery, especially if you follow the post-operation instructions such as: 

  • elevating your knee as much as possible to reduce swelling;
  • cleaning the incision and changing the bandages as directed;
  • avoiding bearing weight on the knee until instructed to do so;
  • driving only if you are cleared to do so by your doctor;
  • taking necessary medications for pain and inflammation; and
  • performing strength and mobility improvement exercises.

Even if you do follow your doctor’s instructions, recovery can still take many weeks or months. You may need additional treatment such as physical therapy or mobility assistance like a knee brace or crutches. These expenses should be covered by your maritime employee benefits.

If your employer refuses to cover treatment for maritime injuries resulting from ship accidents while you are working, you may need to file a maritime lawsuit. A Louisiana maritime attorney can help you determine if you have a case of negligence against your employer and what your options for recovery are.

Overuse Knee Injuries

As a seaman, lifting and carrying heavy loads is part of your job description.  You may not think much about it; you can handle hard work.  But, over time, the heavy lifting may be causing serious knee injuries.

Knee overuse injuries are characterized by pain felt around the front or sides of the knee joint.  The knee slowly begins to hurt, and the pain cannot be traced specific injury such as a slip or fall.

There are several types of overuse knee injuries:

  •  Patellofemoral joint pain: Pain in the front of the knee that is accompanied by grinding or clicking.
  • Patellar tendinitis: Patellar tendinitis is also known as jumper’s knee. It can be caused by periods of heavy physical activity, being overweight, tight leg muscles and/or the uneven strain put on the knees while trying to keep balance at sea. Symptoms include pain after physical activity that becomes a constant ache.
  •  Quadriceps tendinitis: Quadriceps tendinitis is very common and is caused by excess strain on the knees and legs. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, localized tenderness and a warmth or burning sensation.
  •  Bursitis: Inflammation of the fluid-filled cavities in the knee. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and swelling.

Contact a New Orleans Accident Attorney

The Jones Act law provides you with certain protections your employer may not want you to know about. A Louisiana maritime lawyer from The Young Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana, can help you if you have suffered an offshore accident or other maritime accidents. Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to what to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.

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