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    Archive for October, 2021

    Are Total Knee Replacements Used Too Often?

    According to the Center’s Orthopedic & Neurological Care & Research:

    • By 2030, total knee replacement surgeries are projected to grow 673% to 3.5 million procedures per year
    • About 60% of all knee replacement operations are performed on women
    • Approximately 85% of knee replacements will last for 20 years
    • Nearly half of American adults will develop knee osteoarthritis in at least one knee in their lifetime
    • 80% of osteoarthritis patients have some degree of movement limitation
    • More than 90% of people who have knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain

    If you have suffered from an injury at work in Pennsylvania that requires total knee replacement, a Lancaster job injury lawyer can help you with your workers’ comp claim so that you can recover all the financial losses related to such extensive and extended medical care. We understand the laws in Pennsylvania and have experience dealing with severe, long-lasting injuries of all types.

    About Total Knee Replacements

    Total knee replacements have become a regular culprit in Pennsylvania workers’ comp claims. They may occur when a worker has a preexisting condition, such as arthritis, which is then aggravated by a work injury, or when the work injury itself causes damage to a previously healthy knee.

    Part of the problem is unrealistic expectations. Candidates for the procedure are often told that total knee replacement is the “cure” for their chronic knee pain or that the procedure will “reduce knee pain by X%.” However, research has suggested that a significant number of total knee replacement recipients are unhappy with the results and that a substantial number of recipients weren’t even ideal candidates in the first place.

    Still, it cannot be discounted that most people do well with their total knee replacement. Nonetheless, as is the case with any type of surgery, the procedure does carry certain risks, which may include:

    • Injury to related nerves
    • Unexpected bleeding
    • Infection
    • Clots
    • Limited motion of the knee

    As discussed, all of this comes with the risk that the procedure simply won’t relieve your pain in any meaningful way.

    Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement

    There is a procedure called “minimally invasive total knee replacement,” during which a smaller incision is used and is often performed under general or spinal anesthesia. This procedure causes less damage and is easier to tolerate and recover from. It may not, however, provide adequate repair or relief from pain. A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you discuss your options with your doctor and select the best procedure for your particular circumstances.

    Learn More About Knee Replacement Surgery From a Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer

    Whether you’re considering total knee replacement or minimally invasive total knee replacement, you need to look at all of your options and how each impacts your workers’ comp claim. A Lancaster Job Injury Lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your claim; simply contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.

    Employer Responsibility for Job Availability Under Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp Law

    Many states have seen the gradual erosion of workers’ comp benefits in favor of employers and their workers’ comp insurance carriers. In Pennsylvania, one of the mechanisms available to employers or their insurance companies is to “modify;” in other words, reduce workers’ comp benefits through the Labor Market Survey (LMS), also known as the “Earning Power Assessment” (EPS). 

    If you have suffered from an injury at work in Pennsylvania, a Lancaster workers comp lawyer will help you recover the maximum benefits allowed by law. This is particularly important as laws change or benefits are reduced, in that understanding your rights under the law is critical in recovering all of the benefits you are entitled to.

    What is the LMS/EPS?

    An issue arises when injured workers have physical limitations that prevent a return to their previous occupation. One of the changes negatively affecting workers was the creation of the LMS or EPS. Before the change in Pennsylvania law, if an employer or their workers’ comp insurance company wanted to reduce a worker’s benefits, the insurance company was required to refer the injured worker to jobs that were open and available. 

    If the injured worker made good faith applications to these jobs and was not hired, these jobs were deemed unavailable, and the worker’s benefits would continue. Employers and their workers’ comp insurance companies determined that this process was not favorable enough for them, and subsequently lobbied for changes to the Pennsylvania workers’ comp law.

    So, in 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature passed Act 57, which allows benefits to be reduced as long as the employer or insurance company can show that suitable LMS/EPA employment is generally available to the injured worker in the worker’s usual area of employment.

    Has There Been Any Legal Reaction?

    Pennsylvania courts have litigated the LMS/EPA issue and decided that the employer or insurance company may reduce benefits and only has to address the LMS/EPA issue if an injured worker offers evidence that a suitable job is available with the employer, at which point the employer or insurance company has to show no such job exists. This ruling ignores the fact that it is far easier for an employer to show an absence of a job than it is for an injured worker to show a suitable job exists. This seemingly small change to workers’ comp law is reflective of the ways in which the law continues to slowly erode the rights of injured workers. 

    Let a Lancaster Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Explain How Workers’ Comp Benefits May be Reduced 

    A reduction in workers’ comp benefits can have a substantial impact on the quality of life for workers who have been injured on the job. A Lancaster workers comp lawyer at Vanasse Law LLC can help you with your claim and be sure that you are receiving all of the benefits allowed by law. Contact us for a same-day response and a free consultation.