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A carpenter, arthritis of the knee and workers� compensation

Perhaps you are a carpenter and have worked in construction all your life.

Pain in your knees results from the kind of work you do, and the diagnosis is osteoarthritis. Are you eligible for workers’ compensation?

What happens

Most adults are familiar with knee pain. It can be mild or severe, it can result from exercise, sports, an accident or the daily activities associated with certain kinds of work. As a carpenter, you are used to a very active workday. You carry heavy pieces of wood; climb stairs or scaffolding; bend, straighten and kneel constantly as part of your job. Over time, these activities take a toll on your knees and arthritis in one form or another eventually sets in.

Rheumatoid arthritis

An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis only affects 10 to 15 percent of the arthritis cases reported. This disease affects the tissue around joints, causing thickening and inflammation.

Post-traumatic arthritis

Just as it sounds, post-traumatic arthritis can occur after a serious injury such as a ligament tear or bone fracture. The accompanying pain, swelling and stiffness result from damage to the knee cartilage.


The form of the disease that you have is osteoarthritis, which involves the wearing away of the knee cartilage. This is quite common in people aged 50 and older. You probably notice many of the symptoms: pain, swelling, stiffness, limited range of motion, weakness and deformity. Age, genetics and weight issues can contribute to osteoarthritis, but in your case, an old injury caused by a fall from a scaffold probably set the stage for your now arthritic knees.

About compensation

Knee injuries are an everyday occurrence for those who work in construction. Your osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that makes you eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Explore your options with an advocate experienced with such filings. If you meet certain requirements, you may even qualify for lifetime workers’ comp benefits.

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