Workers' Compensation

Plaintiff worked as the activities director for a nursing home. In February 2012, she was taking residents on an outing when she twisted her right knee and immediately felt pain. She was eventually referred to an orthopedist. Plaintiff was diagnosed as having a torn meniscus. She had preexisting arthritis in her knee. The surgeon operated on Plaintiff’s knee and determined that she had reached maximum medical improvement (“MMI”) on February 10, 2012. She was assigned an impairment rating of 4% to the whole person and 10% to the “lower extremity.”

She was released to return to work without restrictions. Plaintiff continued to have pain and was referred to another surgeon. The second surgeon said that the knee replacement was not related in any way to the 2012 accident but instead, was necessitated because of Plaintiff’s chronic arthritic condition. He testified that the 2012 accident caused an “acute exacerbation” of Plaintiff’s right knee condition but that after the surgery he performed “we got her back to better than she was before the [work-related] accident.”

After a hearing, the trial court entered an order in which it found that Plaintiff had sustained a work-related injury to her right knee. It ordered medical care including a knee replacement. It then indicated that it would set the matter for a final hearing to determine the disability benefits.