Acute knee pain and associated disability affecting mobility and car driving


The company is a European convenience food group focused on the added-value sector of the food industry, and in particular the growing market for convenience and prepared foods both in the UK and Continental Europe. The site is a Food manufacturing site employing around 300 individuals.


A 34 year old manager developed acute knee pain and a degree of disability resulting in difficulty with prolonged mobilization and driving.  The manager held a fairly key position in a supporting role.

Company policy

The referral criteria of individuals to the occupational health function is as follows:


The case was referred to the company’s Occupational Health Department (OHD) as his line manager had concerns regarding his fitness to work. The employee had already consulted his GP and was on a 3-6 month waiting list for an MRI scan. A meeting took place between the employee, his manager and OHD to discuss rehabilitation issues. The main priority was to return the individual to the highest possible level of activity as soon as possible.

The company funded an MRI scan with approval from his GP, following which a knee operation undertaken. The employee was absent from work for 2 weeks, however continued to work from home with use of a laptop and telephone.  

Return to work

The employee returned to work and attended physiotherapy. Within 6 week his physiotherapy was completed, he was discharged from his consultant’s care and able to carry out his full role without pain or restriction of movement. 

Rehabilitation team

OHD, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, GP, department manager, physiotherapy and the employee concerned.

Continued progress

The employee is back at work, having resumed his role and full duties. He again leads a normal life without any restrictions.

Benefits to the business

This was made possible due to effective teamwork. This gentleman was managed effectively and returned to his full time role by intervention that resulted in fast tracked treatment and recovery.

Benefits to the individual

Updated 2021-05-18