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Work-Related Injury Care at South Island Orthopedics

When you think of workplace injuries and jobs where you might become seriously hurt, you probably think of dangerous careers, like working on a fishing boat or in the construction industry. The fact is, though, that the majority of people who experience work-related injuries actually work in more mundane settings, like offices and hospitals. 

Close up of a worker tripping over a cord at work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2020. Among the most common work-related injuries? Overexertion, slip and fall, and contact with objects or equipment. From back strains caused by heavy lifting to sprains or fractures caused by slipping on a wet floor, work-related injuries are common — and costly. In 2019, workplace injuries cost employers more than $171 billion, with the average individual injury coming in at about $42,000.

Perhaps even more costly, though, are the effects that a work-related injury can have on your quality of life. From the pain and suffering to time lost to work and hobbies, not getting the proper care for a workplace injury can exacerbate something that would otherwise be a minor inconvenience. South Island Orthopedics understands that you want to get back to work – and your life — as soon as possible. From our accessible urgent care options to advanced surgical and pain management services, we are here to help you with every aspect of your work injury.

The Most Common Work-Related Injuries 

Workplace injuries can occur in any number of ways, including:

Slip and fall. You might slip on a wet floor, trip over an obstacle like a power cord, or even fall from a ladder or scaffolding. Falls can result in any number of injuries, from minor bruises to fractures and torn ligaments. Even if you don’t fall, slipping can cause “reaction injuries,” where muscles, ligaments, and tendons are stretched or overextended in your attempt to break your fall. 

Young female worker has back pain from working at a desk.

Collisions. If you are in an auto accident while driving for work (or you’re in a company vehicle and have a crash), that is still considered a work-related injury. You may also have collisions with equipment (like forklifts in a warehouse) or even bump into other workers and fall. 

Machinery injuries. Machinery can cause everything from cuts and bruises to serious, life-threatening injuries. 

At South Island Orthopedics, our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons is experienced in treating a range of orthopedic work-related injuries caused by these and other accidents, including:

  • Back injuries, including those caused by falls and auto accidents 
  • Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff tears and labral tears
  • Knee injuries, including meniscus and ACL tears 
  • Bone fractures
  • Sprains
  • Strains 

However, work-related injuries are not always sudden or caused by an accident. In fact, more than 30% of workplace injuries are a result of overexertion or repetition. These injuries include:

 An orthopedic doctor examines a patient’s shoulder injury.

If you have ongoing pain that lasts more than two weeks, see an orthopedic doctor for an evaluation. Even minor discomfort can signal the start of what will become a debilitating, lifelong condition if it’s not addressed. 

Certain work-related injuries can also cause chronic pain that can be addressed by orthopedic treatment, including surgery and pain management. These include:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries (i.e., carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Back injuries 

At South Island Orthopedics, we are committed to offering surgical and nonsurgical treatment options to decrease pain and improve function. Surgery is only considered after conservative treatments like rest, pain medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, and other non-invasive treatments prove to be ineffective. 

If your doctor determines surgery is necessary, you can trust that you are in capable hands with the team at South Island Orthopedics. Our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons includes multiple specialists with experience in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques. We partner with multiple local surgical centers and hospitals, giving you peace of mind that all of your orthopedic care will happen close to home — no matter where you live on Long Island or in Queens. 

What to Do When You Are Injured at Work 

Any time you have a work-related injury, immediately report it to your supervisor, human resources officer, or other designated person. Under New York law, you have 30 days to notify your employer of the injury in writing, but the sooner you make the report, the better. If possible, report the injury before you leave to seek medical care or go home; this helps prove that your injuries are work-related in the event of a dispute. 

Following your employer’s reporting procedure ensures that your care and treatment are covered and that you receive the worker’s compensation benefits you’re entitled to. Filing a report also ensures that your injuries are covered even if symptoms don’t show up for weeks or months following the accident. 

Your report should include:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Names of the individuals involved 
  • How the accident occurred
  • A detailed description of any injuries sustained
  • Details about the medical treatment you have received. 

In addition to making a report, if you have a work-related injury — even if it seems minor — always seek medical attention. This could mean visiting the emergency room, or in many cases, urgent care or an orthopedic injury clinic. Your employer may require that you see a specific provider, but in New York State you have the right to a second opinion from a provider of your choice. 

Worker’s Compensation 

Filing a worker’s compensation claim is complex. Maintaining meticulous documentation of your injury, how your injury affects your work, and your medical records is crucial to ensuring your claim is approved. Worker’s compensation will cover medical expenses related to diagnosis and treatment, lost wages while you are out of work, and vocational rehabilitation if your injury keeps you from returning to your old job.

When you choose SIO for your care after a workplace injury, we’ll help you with every detail, including working directly with insurance, your attorney, or the state workers’ compensation board as needed. 

Urgent Care at South Island Orthopedics 

When you sustain physical injuries at work, getting medical care as soon as possible increases the chance of a full recovery. South Island Orthopedics’ Urgent Ortho Care department ensures people on Long Island have immediate access to expert orthopedic care when they need it most. Opting for urgent care over the emergency room can save you time and money, and ensure access to the orthopedic expertise you need.

Note: For life-threatening injuries, call 911 or go immediately to the emergency room. This includes injuries with severe bleeding, when the injured person is unconscious, a suspected concussion, serious burns, and spinal injuries. 

Whether you make an appointment (preferred) or seek walk-in care, SIO provides same-day care that includes a thorough evaluation by a board-certified orthopedic specialist, immediate access to medical imaging equipment (including X-ray and MRI), and a comprehensive treatment plan.

If you need urgent orthopedic care, we encourage you to make an appointment to ensure prompt service. Scheduling your visit also ensures we can maintain proper social distancing and COVID-19 protocols. However, if you have an acute injury, walk-in spots are available, ensuring you get the care you need right away.