Arthrodesis or joint fusion surgery represents a common surgical solution for a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis. A number of workers may require such surgery to help them regain mobility and return to work.
The list of candidates for such surgery is a long one and may include construction workers, agriculture workers, warehouse workers, health care workers, manufacturing workers, printmakers, truck drivers and even teachers and musicians.
Osteoarthritis from excessive strain and pressure
Osteoarthritis affects the bones, tissues and joint muscles related to the knees, ankles, fingers and wrists as well as the back and hips. This degenerative disease may severely limit what a person can do and prevent him or her from working.
Those who may experience this ailment may include workers whose duties place an excessive amount of strain and pressure on their cartilage, tendons and muscles whether standing for prolonged periods, bending, and squatting. Repetitive motion also plays a factor. As a result, certain body tissues may tear and cartilage wears away.
Cartilage serves as the cushion between bones in a joint. Overuse and repetitive motion may lead to its breakdown, causing bone to rub against bone. The results may lead to tissue inflammation, bone spurs, stiffening and inability to flex or move the joint.
Leads to joint stability and weeks of recovery
Arthrodesis or joint fusion surgery is an option to solve this problem.
In such instances, surgeons rely on pins, plates, wires and rods to connect bones in a person’s finger, thumb, wrist, ankle or spine, resulting in a continuous joint. Eventually, the bones grow together, locking the joint in place.
Eventually, the joint becomes more stable and less painful, however, joint fusion surgery will reduce motion and flexibility.
Expect recovery to take as much as 12 weeks, and, during that time, the patent must wear a brace or cast to provide protection. Physical therapy also is necessary, to help the muscle and joints adapt to the changes stemming from the surgery.
Proving the severity of your injury
In order to secure workers’ compensation, you must prove the work related nature of your injury and the severity of your condition. Gather all medical documents related to your ailment. Employers often do NOT understand that your work duties caused this ailment. If you have any questions, the work comp experts at Atkinson Law Office, P.A.are here to provide a free consultation.