Common Types of Ankle Injuries Experienced on the Job

Ankle injuries are one of the most common ways that people get hurt while on the job. The incidence of ankle sprains and other types of injuries of the ankle ranges from two to 14 out of 1,000 people every year. Females are nearly four times as likely to experience an ankle sprain or similar injury compared to males, and adolescents are three to six times more likely to experience an ankle injury compared to adults.

On-the-Job Ankle Injuries

The ankle joint has to be flexible so that a person can quickly turn on their feet, ascend and descend steps, and bend their foot. This flexibility and the prominence of the bones in this area makes the ankle easy to injure. On-the-job ankle injuries can affect all workers. People who have active jobs are more likely to experience an ankle injury while at work. Some of the most common ankle injuries that a person could experience while at work include a sprain, tendinitis, ruptured tendon or strain. These are soft tissue injuries. It is also possible to experience a fracture of the tibia, fibula or talus.

Risk Factors for an Ankle Injury

Some people may be more prone to an ankle injury than others. People who have to move quickly in order to do their job have a higher risk. This includes assembly line workers, order fulfillment technicians and similar occupations. People who have had a past injury of the ankle may have scar tissue or degeneration of the soft tissues, which increases their risk of another injury in the area. People who have circulatory disorders, diabetes, arthritis or who are obese also have a higher risk of hurting their ankles at work.

Activities Most Likely to Cause an Ankle Injury

While an ankle injury can occur from something as simple as a missed step, there are a few work activities that are more likely to cause an ankle injury. Those activities include:

  • Running or walking on uneven surfaces
  • A sudden impact such as dropping an object or getting crushed in equipment
  • Twisting or rolling when coming off of a step or curb
  • Falling off of equipment such as a ladder or scaffolding
  • Landing awkwardly after jumping

Impact of an Ankle Sprain or Other Injury

In the immediate aftermath of an ankle sprain or fracture, a worker may be unable to stand or bear weight on the affected ankle. For many workers, this would have an instantaneous impact on their ability to perform their typical work activities. A soft tissue strain or sprain may cause difficulty with movement and swelling that makes it difficult for a worker to wear shoes. A fracture typically requires a cast or surgical boot, which could also interfere with the ability to perform required work duties. If an employer is unable to make on-the-job accommodations, such as a light-duty job that does not require movement, the person may be unable to work. A workers’ compensation claim is key for getting medical expenses paid and for collecting some of the lost wages that the worker would have earned if they were not injured.

What Workers Should Do After an Ankle Injury at Work

Anyone who experiences an ankle injury while working or on their employer’s property should seek a prompt medical evaluation by a physician who handles workers’ compensation medical claims. Walking on a sprained or otherwise injured ankle could worsen the damage and make the recovery take longer. People who are hurt on the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation in order to account for their missed work time and medical bills. A nursing accident lawyer may be able to represent a person whose claim was denied by their employer.

For more information about workers’ compensation cases in Pennsylvania, contact the Vorhees Law Office, LLC at (908) 200-2297, or email craig@voorheeslawnj.com in order to schedule a consultation with a nursing accident lawyer.

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