Ankle Injuries and Rehabilitation Services
Ankle injuries are some of the most common work place injuries reported to worker’s compensation. The feet and ankles contain nearly 25% of the bones in the body and combined with all of the muscles and tendons make up a complicated, finely balanced mechanism which can easily be damaged by even a relatively minor injury. Any injury to the ankle can seriously hinder an employee’s mobility and prevent them from being able to do their job properly. Due to the vulnerability of the ankle there are a large number of ways to injure the ankle.
COMMON ANKLE INJURIES
Sprains are probably the most common injury to the ankle. Sprains can be caused by slipping and falling or even just putting stepping wrong and rolling your ankle. This common injury is often enough to make it painful to walk for days afterwards.
Another common ankle injury is torn or pulled tendons. These injuries are often caused by overexertion of the ankle or over use, such as walking a long distance and ignoring soreness. If not properly treated a torn ligament can cause pain for months and limit mobility for long after the actual injury has healed.
Repetitive motion such as constantly kneeling and standing over a period of time can cause repetitive motion injuries. These injuries can result in soreness in the joints and tendons of the ankle, making it difficult and painful to move or place weight on the joint.
Despite the strength of the ankle, the size and sheer number of small bones make it easy to break or fracture one or more of them. Damage to any of the bones in the ankle will hamper mobility until it is fully healed. These injuries can be the result of impact fractures caused by repeated shocks to the bones, heavy objects doing crushing damage or even just a misstep or fall.
An impact such as a heavy object falling on an employee’s ankle or getting bumped by a door can cause a bruise. A bruise, will usually heal quickly, but can cause pain while walking and can be compounded by continued use.
All of these injuries can result in swelling and pain in the ankle which will decrease mobility and make it hard for an injured employee to fulfill their duties. Rehabilitation services can help patients return to work sooner.
THE BENEFIT OF REHABILITATION SERVICES
Doctors and other rehabilitation services play a two part role in cases of workers compensation ankle injuries. Ankle injuries such as sprains are one of the types of injuries that workers compensation boards and employers do not like to grant workers compensation benefits for. These injuries are not as showy as broken limbs or pulled backs, but ankle injuries can be very painful, and when ignored can result in debilitating. A doctor will be able to diagnose the injury as being significant enough that the employee needs to take time from work in order to properly heal and to prescribe rehabilitation services for the patient. Rehabilitation services are all the therapeutic programs the doctor prescribes to help the patient return to work. These therapy programs are possibly the most important thing for worker’s compensation ankle injury cases because the physical therapist will be able to design a rehabilitation plan to slowly exercise the ankle to encourage its full healing, strengthen the joint so the injury does not reappear and help the patient regain full mobility in their ankle.