The Illinois Workers Compensation Act determines the value of a meniscus knee surgery based on a percentage loss use of the leg. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act states that a total loss use of the leg is 215 weeks. Once the percentage of disability of that leg resulting from a meniscus tear with surgery is determined, that number is multiplied by the permanent partial disability (PPD) rate to determine the value of the case. The permanent partial disability rate is 60% of the average weekly wage (AWW). The average weekly wage is the gross amount of money the injured worker earned each week one year before the work injury. The value of a meniscus tear with surgery in the years 2014 through 2016 varied from 7% loss use of the leg to 45% loss use of the leg, based on the reported cases that went to Trial during that time period.
The percentage of disability of a leg is also determined in part as to the number of surgeries needed to repair the torn meniscus and/or the type of the meniscus tear and severity of that tear. The most common knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus resulting from a work injury is an arthroscopic medial meniscectomy.
A surgically repaired meniscus tear with a return to work without restrictions in the years 2014 through 2016 has a value between 15 to 22.5% loss use of the leg based on the reported decisions by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Some knee surgeries will require more surgical expertise than the run of the mill partial medial meniscectomy of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus. Other times the surgeon will be required to do a chondroplasty of the medial femoral condyle to cure the injured workers condition of ill-being. Sometimes the surgeon will also be required to do a chondroplasty to the patella tendon and remove loose bodies which were floating in the knee that were found during the surgery.
The reported decisions with higher value (higher percentage loss of a leg) were injuries when there was injury to and a surgical repair both the medial and lateral meniscus and where the injured worker continued to have knee complaints, after the surgery.
Prior to the amendments to the Workers Compensation Act on September 1, 2011, the value of a torn meniscus was approximately 15% higher than they are today. The 2011 amendments were designed to lower the value of claim, and they have succeeded in that goal!
An injured worker who has knee surgery should never be in a rush to settle his workers compensation case until he is confident that the surgery has been successful and he will not require a revision surgery as it is not uncommon for work related knee injuries to require multiple surgeries before the injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement.
If you have a work related knee injury that requires surgical intervention, you should seek out an experienced workers compensation attorney to make sure that you have received all the benefits you are entitled to and your rights under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act are protected. A work related knee surgery case is a complex matter which you should not undertake to handle yourself. The workers compensation insurance company has a team of professional claims adjusters and Attorneys working against you in an effort to pay the least amount of money on your claim. You need an experienced workers compensation Attorney to help you with your claim. Call David N. Rechenberg, who has 28 years of experience battling insurance companies on behalf of injured workers. Get Dave on your side today.