Work-Related Ligament and Tendon Injuries

Tendon and ligament injuries are common in work-related injuries. They often times go undetected in the early stages of a workers’ compensation claim.

Initial treatment for many work injuries is a simple X-Ray. X-rays will help determine if there are any injuries or breaks to the bones. However, an X-Ray will not show any ligament or tendon damage. Yet, these ligament and tendon injuries can be quite severe in terms of pain and functionality and can lead to surgery.

Are ligaments and tendons the same thing?

Although quite similar anatomy, ligaments and tendons are different. They are the same in that they are thick bands of tissue within the body. They both help stabilize body structure and movement, hence why these injuries can be severe and painful. The difference is the way they connect body parts. Tendons generally connect muscle to bones. Ligaments connect bones to other bones. That is a simplified explanation in a nutshell.

Are ligament and tendon injuries related to sprain/strains?

Yes. Injuries to ligaments and tendons are sprains and strains. Essentially, sprains are stretching or tearing of ligaments or tendons. Sprains are graded by severity. Typically, those grades are:

• Grade 1: Grade 1 sprains and considered sprains which result in stretching. These are the least severe and are the type of injuries that do not result in tears to the ligament or tendon.
• Grade 2: Grade 2 sprains are considered moderate sprains. These type of injuries may have resulted in partial tearing of the ligament or tendon. More aggressive medical treatment usually occurs.
• Grade 3: Grade 3 sprains are considered to be severe and result in a complete tear or rupture and usually results in instability. These severe sprains likely result in surgical intervention.

The grade of the sprain will dictate the treatment plan for the injury.

What type of accidents cause ligament and tendon injuries?

First, injuries to ligament and tendons are frequent and quite common. Certain type of activities are known to frequently cause ligament and tendon injuries. Several factors can increase the risk of ligament and tendon injuries, including, but not limited to, overuse of a ligament or tendon, trauma from a direct blow, a fall that leads to high impact, and twisting type events. What is important to note here is that these type of injuries can occur from a single incident, such as a blow or fall, or by doing highly repetitive activities.

What type of treatment is indicated for ligament or tendon injuries?

Treatment will be dictated by the severity, or as stated above, the grade of your sprain. Less severe injuries can be treated with rest, ice, elevation, and medications. Moderate sprains may lead to some immobilization and physical therapy. There could be potential surgical implications. The most severe sprains, typically Grade 3, will most like result in surgery. Surgery could include repair or reconstruction.

Fact is, ligament and tendon injuries are frequent work-related injuries. They are typically not diagnosed early because X-rays will not show ligament or tendon injuries. Yet, the injured worker continues to struggle with pain, lack of range of motion, decline in quality of life, and more. In the meanwhile, panel doctors frequently return injured workers back to work, just making it more painful and miserable.

If you have been injured at work and believe you have suffered a ligament or tendon injury, contact Mooney Law for a free consultation. These will frequently lead to litigation as the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is going to want to limit the description of injury and fight medical treatment. We have litigated and settled tons of these claims. We are ready to help you. Call today for a free consultation at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656. You can also drop us an email at or visit our website and complete the Schedule a Consultation form.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.