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At a Glance:
Title:
APD 010040
Date:
February 14, 2001

APD 010040

February 14, 2001

This appeal arises pursuant to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, TEX. LAB. CODE ANN. § 401.001 et seq. (1989 Act). On December 5, 2000, a hearing was held. The hearing officer determined that the appellant’s (claimant) right knee injury is not a result of the claimant’s compensable left knee injury. The claimant appealed, asserting that the hearing officer’s determination is against the great weight of the evidence. The respondent (carrier) urges that we affirm the decision of the hearing officer.

DECISION

We affirm the decision and order of the hearing officer.

The claimant sustained a compensable left knee injury, underwent surgery to the left knee, and now asserts that she has sustained an injury to her right knee which naturally flows from the left knee injury. From the evidence presented at the hearing and the claimant’s position on appeal, it appears that the claimant asserts two theories of recovery, the first being that the right knee injury is due to an altered gait and stress on the right knee due to the left knee injury and the second being that the left knee has caused her to fall on a number of occasions since the surgery to the left knee which has resulted in either a distinct injury or an aggravation injury to the right knee.

Conflicting evidence was presented at the hearing concerning medical opinions on whether the claimant’s altered gait after her left knee surgery resulted in the right knee injury. The claimant’s doctor has opined that the right knee injury is a result of the altered gait. Dr. K and Dr. F, both of whom examined the claimant on behalf of the carrier, have opined that the claimant’s torn anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee is consistent with an acute injury due to a fall but is not consistent with an injury resulting from the altered gait. The hearing officer’s determination that the claimant’s right knee injury was the result of a fall outside of work and not due to an altered gait is not so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be clearly wrong or manifestly unjust.

We affirm the decision and order of the hearing officer.

Kenneth A. Huchton
Appeals Judge

CONCUR:

Susan M. Kelley
Appeals Judge

Thomas A. Knapp
Appeals Judge

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