Injuries Commonly Diagnosed in Construction Workers

Construction is a challenging field. Workers are at a high risk of all sorts of injuries, including repetitive strain injuries and acute injuries. Knee bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and carpal tunnel syndrome are just a few of the conditions that an orthopaedic doctor may diagnose in construction workers.

Knee Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa sac around a joint, such as the knee joint. The job of the bursae is to cushion the joints and reduce friction. When knee bursitis develops, the patient may feel knee pain, tenderness, and swelling, and it can be difficult to move the joint properly. Knee bursitis often develops gradually from repeated activities, such as kneeling on hard surfaces to install flooring. Knee bursitis is treatable with oral and injected medications, physical therapy, and aspiration.

Rotator Cuff Tear

A rotator cuff tear is an injury to one of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff in the shoulder. This injury can develop suddenly or slowly over time. If it happens suddenly, the patient can feel intense pain, weakness, and perhaps a snapping sensation in the shoulder. If the injury develops gradually, patients may notice gradually worsening pain and weakness when lifting and using the arm. An acute tear can be caused by a fall or by lifting something heavy. Repetitive activities, such as overhead lifting, can also cause rotator cuff tears. Without treatment like rest, physical therapy, or surgery, rotator cuff tears can get larger.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve that extends through the wrist and into the base of the hand. Its symptoms develop gradually, causing wrist pain, tingling, and numbness. These symptoms may also affect the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Construction workers may develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive use of vibrating power tools or manual hand tools. Without treatment, it becomes worse, eventually causing poor grip strength and chronic pain. Treatment options include injected medication, oral anti-inflammatory drugs, splinting, activity modification, and orthopaedic surgery.

Area employers can rely on MK Orthopaedics and our workers’ compensation capabilities. Some of our orthopaedic doctors in Joliet are certified Independent Medical Examiners, and we also feature an onsite pharmaceutical dispensary. Injured construction workers and their employers can contact our office at (815) 741-6900.

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