Osteoarthritis at 30? What do I do?

Hello, I’m a 30 year old construction worker, April 10th I hurt my knee at work. After x-ray and MRI there was no evidence of any tear. The one thing they did notice is cartilage degeneration above my knee cap. My physio told me this isnt very common for my age. I’m currently on sedentary duties in an office but they told me next week I’ll be back to work (construction) because they can only see a sprain (wcb). My knee doesn’t feel up to it and from what I’ve been reading I can’t put my knee in a stressful environment. I don’t want to be at home collecting disability but I am wondering if there is any way to get help while I find a career that doesn’t involve much damage to my knee. I fear that if I accept the gradual return to full duties that I will further damage my knee. Can anyone help?

And your doctor OK’d your return to full duties inspite of all your complaints?

My husband has Osteoarthritis in his hands. He has had 4 surgeries with little help. When he saw the surgeon as Osteoarthritis is “wear and tear” exacerbated arthritis-or worsened by heavy labour jobs it was suggested that he could claim under Workers Comp. or go through his disability Insurer.
Do you have any referrals to see a specialist (other than a workers comp Doc?)Both rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons are “specialists” in arthritis care.
Do you have a supportive Doctor that would extend or monitor you as you return to full duties?
Your employer has a duty to accommodate.

Hi Elaine, well his initial statement was vague but he said 1-2 months and I should be ok, wcb has my plan set up to go 2 hrs moderated labour and 6rs back at their office. Then 4 and 4 and so on until it’s back to eight. He hasn’t said anything about the degenerating cartilage to me at all. It was actually my physio who asked me if I had been referred to see a surgeon even for a consultation. I plan to be firm with my doctor on Thursday because I’m so lost on what to do.
Thanks for commenting.

So since I’ve had an ACL graph in the past, wcb is relaying to me that the degeneration is from that, not related to the “sprain” I had April 10th. My fear is that if I go back to my job (lifting, squatting, crouching and crawling on my knee) that I will further the damage rather than prevent it. If it will help my body in the long run I’ll take a student loan and go back to school for something that wont aggravate my knee. Am I just supposed to refuse light duties and get terminated? E. I would help pay bills but I wouldn’t be able to afford physio or any specialty appointments after the fact. I guess I’m just confused and frustrated.
Thanks for commenting

Wait for an expert advice.

But you need to communicate all your health concerns with your family physician and see a specialist. You need to make a plan with your doctor on what is best for your health.

For now it may be better for you to stay at work and see how it goes and meanwhile see your doctor to discuss your osteoathritis. If you need a surgery at any time you’ll need your benefits to cover your expenses while on leave.

Don’t get terminated, if the light duties cause a flare up then see your Doctor for a note/discussion. Do you have short term or long term disability at work? It may be worth it to try and manage for a bit if you have that protection.

Hi kneedhelp.
Don’t quit your job.

If it comes to looking for another job, look into Second Career Ontario Government Funding

1 Like

This is really a medical decision. Your doctor would need to say you are medically restricted from your current employment. The policies form provincial Workers compensation programs differ, but they will often pay for retraining if it is recommended by doctors. WCB will cover your medical treatment but you need to stay on their program path. Not an easy situation. Sorry to hear you have to deal with all this disruption in your life.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliabile manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.

Hi David, thank you for replying.
I took your advice and accepted the gradual program with wcb. I spoke with my doctor today and he seemed to think a consultation with a specialist was pointless. He even seemed upset that my physio would suggest that. He said he knows people with bad knees still doing construction and getting retraining compensation from wcb would be very difficult. This is the same doctor that neglected to tell me I had a torn acl back on 2011. I was under the impression “no news is good news” at the time. I’m alot more on top of things now. Should I look for a second opinion? If I really can’t bear weight and squat anymore should I ask my employer to lay me off so I can collect E.I while I go to school or look for a sit down job?
Thanks again for commenting

Is there an equivalent to this in British Columbia? They’ve stated to me it would he an MSP issue and not a WCB issue. Since the arthritis was due to a sport injury in the past.
Thank you for commenting

You should look for a second opinion. Do you have a sports clinic near you? If you go back to construction you might end up back on WCB if you keep having issues or pain flare ups. If your employer lays you off and you go on EI then often, unless approved, you will be expected to look for a job and not retraining.
Maybe look into becoming a correctional officer, the pay is decent enough.

hi everyone:
this is my first post. Osteoarthritis at 30 I would strongly recomend not becoming a correctional officer. I did this work for 18 years and let me tell you it is very stressful on the joints. It is a very physicaly demanding job and can cause more damage. I have in multiple times had to run and restrain inmates in fights without any warning but a bell going off and all must respond. you certainly don’t have time to stretch and get ready for what is to come other then proper training. In my opinion with all respect to allyoops this would not be a good career choice unless you are physically strong and healthy.
I hope this helps

What about ei sick benefits?