If you are a plumber, and you have been working as a residential plumber for years, you may develop a lesser-known, work-related injury called "plumber's knee." This problem with your knees has less to do with your profession and more to do with what actually causes it. You may find that many of the tasks you were once able to do as a plumber, you have a lot of difficulty doing now. Here is some more information on what plumber's knee is, how it does (and does not) relate to your profession as a plumber, and how to keep working in your field after you have been diagnosed with plumber's knee.

Plumber's Knee, AKA, Bursitis

Plumber's knee is also known as bursitis. It is an inflammation of the bursa fluid sac on the front of your knee, located just behind the knee cap. The bursa sac becomes swollen and enflamed from constant kneeling on hard surfaces, such as the kind that accompanies fixing toilets and sink plumbing. If left untreated, the bursa sac could rupture and blow out your knee completely, which is then known as "water on the knee" because the fluid in the bursa sac has escaped and leaked out into the tissues surrounding the knee cap.

How Plumber's Knee Does and Does Not Relate to Your Profession

The moniker for this inflammatory disorder was given based upon the fact that plumbers spend a great deal of time on their knees making plumbing repairs. The constant kneeling in your line of work leads to the inflammation. Additionally, if you attempt to keep working and kneeling on the affected knee(s), you will find that your profession makes the condition worse and significantly and increasingly more painful with each bend of your knee(s).

While many plumbers may develop this condition during their careers, virtually anyone who kneels a lot can develop plumber's knee without ever having been a plumber. Some football players frequently find that their years in the huddle on the field causes them to develop plumber's knee. While it could mean the end of their careers as football players, it does not have to mean the end of yours as a plumber.

How to Keep Working When You Have Plumber's Knee

Taking anti-inflammatory medication is the first line of defense if your knee does not bother you too much. When the pain gets worse, you may have to take a few days off, elevate the affected knee, and ice it often. This will help reduce the inflammation, swelling and pain, and let you get back to plumbing quickly. When it finally gets so bad that you have to have an apprentice finish most of the work, it may be time to consider surgery. After a period of rehabilitation and therapy, you can return to your career just as before. Contact a business, such as Midwestern Plumbing Service, for more information.   

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