Work Related Lower Limb Disorders(WRLLD)

  Work Related Lower limb disorders affect the hips, knees and legs. There are two types of WRLLDs: those caused by acute injury and those caused by overuse. In the workplace, WRLLDs are most likely to be caused by overuse. However, acute injuries tend to be more common among athletes and military personnel.

Hip osteoarthritis , knee OA, knee bursitis, meniscal lesions/tears, stress fracture and venous disorders/varicose veins of the lower legs were the most commonly reported overuse injuries among industrial workers.

Risk Factors

Risk factors are divided in three broad categories: occupational (physical) , personal (and demographic)  and psychosocial risk factors. Many of the factors are not specific to the lower extremities, as they have also been associated with disorders of the upper extremities and the trunk. For LLD, the studies generally indicate that the most likely causal agents are physical work-related factors, particularly, the following:

  • Kneeling/squatting.
  • Climbing stairs.
  • Heavy lifting.
  • Walking/standing.
  • Slips and trips hazards.
  • Jumps from height.
  • Driving, particularly continuously for more than four hours.
  • Sitting, in an awkward position or for long durations at a time (>2 hours), particularly for hip pain.

 Personal and psychosocial factors that were most often associated with increased risk are: previous injury, physical condition (no activity outside work), obesity, gender, lack of job satisfaction, low level of control over work, little or no social support from colleagues and no support from supervisors.

Anastasios M. Margaritis
Occupational Health& Safety Specialist.
Bsc Physiotherapy & Sports Science.
Orthopaedic Manual Therapist.
Back Mechanic Specialist.