Knee Pain and Injuries

There are many conditions and activities that can cause knee pain and injuries. Work injuries may include but are not limited to strains, sprains, contusions, meniscus injuries, fractures, ligament tears, bursitis, and patella (knee cap) dislocations. Examples of work accidents or activities that may cause these injuries include: slips on wet or slippery surfaces, falls, heavy or repetitive lifting and/or carrying, heavy or repetitive pushing and/or pulling, and prolonged kneeling. Sports and other activities such as gardening and housework may also result in these knee injuries. In addition, knee pain may be caused by underlying medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chondromalacia, post traumatic arthritis, Osgood-Schlatter's disease, Baker's cyst, and degenerative joint disease. Conditions such as obesity may cause knee strain and premature degenerative joint disease. Knee pain that is not associated with a specific injury at work needs to be evaluated by the person's personal physician.


May include pain, swelling or effusion, localized heat, decreased range of motion, instability, locking, clicking, popping, and inability to bear full or partial weight.


Knee pain and injuries that have resulted from work activities, accidents, and injuries need to be evaluated by Employee Health Services. Injuries that do not occur at work and knee pain that has not resulted from a work task, need to be evaluated and treated by the employee's personal physician as these are not occupational. While awaiting evaluation and treatment, the employee may apply ice to the affected area for up to 15 minutes every hour. If the employee has no allergic or medical problems associated with taking Advil or Tylenol, he/she may take one of these over-the-counter agents as directed.

Work status

If the condition is not occupational, the employee's personal physician is responsible for determining if the employee needs any work restrictions. If employee health is treating the employee, the employee health treater will make this determination.

Developed by Employee Health Services