The ankles are incredibly important structures in the body. They connect the lower leg to the foot, making them essential to your ability to walk and get around. The ankles are also under a tremendous amount of pressure. These small hinge joints support one and a half times your body weight when standing and walking, and eight times your body weight when running. Because the ankles play such a pivotal role in allowing us to move, they are especially susceptible to workplace injuries.
If you have a job that requires you to stand, drive, walk, or otherwise move in your environment, an ankle sprain can make performing your work duties extremely painful. In the event of a serious ankle injury, like a fracture, you may not be able to work at all. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, but overuse of the ankle muscles can also lead to injuries over time. Here is a quick overview of the different kinds of ankle injuries and what causes them.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common lower leg injuries. It occurs when the ankle is forced into an abnormal position, causing damage to the ligaments or tendons within the joint. For most workers, the trauma caused by an ankle sprain is minor, resulting in pain, inflammation, stiffness, and reduced mobility. However, repeated ankle sprains without rest and proper care can weaken the joint and leave the worker vulnerable to more serious injuries.
Ankle sprains can be caused by the following workplace accidents:
- Twisting or rotating the ankle
- Rolling the ankle
- Walking on uneven surfaces
- Landing awkwardly after a jump
- Slip, trip, and fall accident
While most ankle sprains are acute injuries that follow a single workplace accident, ankle strains are usually due to overuse of the surrounding muscles. The two tendons most often injured in an ankle strain are responsible for stabilizing and protecting the joint. Inflammation of a tendon is referred to as tendinitis, which is characterized by pain and tenderness. Tendinosis, on the other hand, is a chronic and long-term condition caused by the degeneration of tendon tissue.
Ankle strains are often caused by:
- Repetitive motions
- Long-distance driving and repeated braking
- Wearing the wrong footwear
Though hard and durable, the bones of the ankle can break due to a workplace accident. A fracture is the most serious of all ankle injuries and may require surgery to reset the bone. Although you may be able to walk following a workplace injury that results in a broken bone, a fractured ankle left untreated can cause permanent injury. For this reason, it’s extremely important to report the accident and seek immediate medical treatment.
The following workplace accidents can result in a broken ankle:
- Trip and fall
- Getting caught in machinery
- Crush injuries
- Impact from a vehicle accident
Have you suffered an ankle injury at work? You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
While painful, an ankle injury probably won’t cause permanent damage. It may, however, keep you off your feet for several weeks or months while you recover. Fortunately, workers’ compensation covers nearly all ankle injuries that arise from a workplace accident. In addition to paying all medical bills related to your injury, including surgery, prescription medication, and physical therapy, workers’ compensation provides wage loss benefits while you’re unable to earn a living.
The process of notifying your employer, filing a workers’ comp claim, making an appointment with an approved physician, and negotiating with the insurance company can feel daunting and intimidating to do alone. At the Law Office of Gerald Brody & Associates, our attorneys have decades of experience helping injured employees navigate the legal system and collect the benefits they need to recover. There are no up-front or out-of-pocket costs for representation, and your initial consultation is free. What do you have to lose? Call our office at (619) 528-9800 to see how we can help.