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Work-Related Knee Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments

Chen, Zhiqiang MD, PhD, MSPH; Chakrabarty, Sangita MD, MSPH; Levine, Robert S. MD; Aliyu, Muktar H. MD, MPH, DrPH; Ding, Tan MS; Jackson, Larry L. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 - p 1091–1099
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829b27bf
Original Articles

Objective: To characterize work-related knee injuries treated in US emergency departments (EDs).

Methods: We characterized work-related knee injuries treated in EDs in 2007 and examined trends from 1998 to 2007 by using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System—occupational supplement.

Results: In 2007, 184,300 (±54,000; 95% confidence interval) occupational knee injuries were treated in US EDs, accounting for 5% of the 3.4 (±0.9) million ED-treated occupational injuries. The ED-treated knee injury rate was 13 (±4) injuries per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers. Younger workers and older female workers had high rates. Strains/sprains and contusions/abrasions were common—frequently resulting from falls and bodily reaction/overexertion events. Knee injury rates declined from 1998 through 2007.

Conclusions: Knee injury prevention should emphasize reducing falls and bodily reaction/overexertion events, particularly among all youth and older women.

From the Division of Preventive and Occupational Medicine (Drs Chen, Chakrabarty, Levine, and Aliyu), Department of Family and Community Medicine (Mr Ding), Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn; Occupational Medicine Department (Dr Chen), Kaiser Permanente, Manteca, Calif; and Division of Safety Research (Dr Jackson), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WVa.

Address correspondence to: Larry L. Jackson, PhD, Division of Safety Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Rd, MS1808, Morgantown, WV 26505 (LLJackson@cdc.gov).

Funding for this activity was made possible, in part, by award 5P20MD000516 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and award T03OH009406-04 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the US Department of Health and Human Services. Any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine