Our feet are some of the most hardworking parts of our body on any given day, propelling us through the everyday motions of our lives. On the job, though, they’re not just working overtime -- they’re also some of the most vulnerable areas for a work-related injury. In fact, studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there are more than 53,000 work-related foot injuries(opens in a new tab) in America every single year.
At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, we’re proud to have a workers’ compensation department dedicated to treating work injuries, including those sustained to the foot. We also want our patients to be aware of the risks they face to their feet at work. Here are three of the most common work-related foot injuries we see at BOS:
- Broken Feet
If you’re someone who works around heavy equipment, you’re probably aware that crushing injuries to the feet (which often result in fractures) are a serious risk. However, one type of foot injury – a Lisfranc fracture – is particularly detrimental to the foot and can occur not only as a result of crushing, but of falling or twisting as well. The Lisfranc ligaments connect a small group of bones that form the arch of your foot, and if this ligament is injured, it can cause both a fracture and a dislocation. It’s important that this injury is treated as soon as possible, as it can progress into arthritis in the middle of the foot over time.
- Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain in America, and if you’re frequently on your feet all day at work, you may be especially susceptible. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that is located beneath the skin on the bottom of the foot. This ligament connects your heel to the front of your foot while supporting the arch of your foot. When this ligament becomes irritated and inflamed due to overuse, it can cause serious pain at the bottom of the heel. If you walk or stand for most of your workday, it’s extremely important to select appropriate footwear to prevent the onset of plantar fasciitis. Appropriate work shoes include shock-absorbent soles, removable foot insoles, and heels of a reasonable height. For certain people, custom orthotics may be a good option to protect the plantar fascia from irritation.
Bunions – technically known as “hallux valgus” – are a painful swelling or a bony protrusion at the inner base of the big toe that can happen when the first toe becomes misaligned. Bunions can be hereditary in some people, but they also happen as the result of standing for long periods of time in inappropriate footwear. If left untreated, bunions can worsen over time and cause considerable difficulty with walking.
Your feet work hard, and so do you. Like all work-related injuries, foot injuries are often preventable when you and your employer work together to create a safe work environment where risks are minimized and necessary rest periods are provided.
Dr. Raymond O’Hara, Dr. Narendra Patel, and Dr. Lynette Mahoney specialize in foot & ankle injuries. If you are suffering from a work-related foot injury, don’t wait to seek treatment. The workers’ compensation department at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists is committed to your total recovery and eager to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process. Ready to get started? Request an appointment here.
Other services offered are our dedicated Work Conditioning Program designed to help you return to work safely and with confidence.