Dallas QME (Qualified Medical Evaluator) for Work-Related Foot & Ankle Injuries
Our feet are literally our foundation: We need them to stand and they take us where we need to go. It’s no surprise that an injury to the foot or ankle–even a mild one–can significantly affect our abilities to get our jobs done and our ability to accomplish everyday tasks and activities. Similarly, chronic foot pain and foot health conditions can lower our quality of life and harm our careers.
At Work Injury MD, our Dallas QME physicians understand that many workers and federal employees are on their feet all day, and that having healthy feet and ankles is vital to being the best employee and best person you can be. Our full-service clinic has a board-certified physician on staff and sees patients from Dallas as well as the surrounding areas of Waco, Ennis, and Denton.
Our Dallas QME doctors specialize in seeing Texas workers recovering from both overuse and acute injuries, including:
- Postal workers
- Construction workers
- Office workers and clerks
- Jail and prison workers
- TSA employees
- Registered nurses
- Forest service employees
- Compliance officers
We offer second opinions after employees have seen a company doctor as well as consultations for those who continue to struggle with chronic pain after an accident or repetitive motion injury. To speak with our Dallas QME or to ask a question about your injury, please call us today or fill out our quick contact form.
Common Workplace Foot & Ankle Injuries in Texas
There are two main types of occupational foot and ankle injuries: overuse and acute. Acute injuries are the result of a one-time incident or accident, while overuse injuries appear gradually over time as workers overexert themselves on the job. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common acute and overuse health issues to the foot and ankle.
- Sprained ankle or foot. This is one of the most common foot & ankle diagnosis: when the ligaments in the area are stretched or torn, causing intense pain, swelling, and redness. While spraints often heal with ice, elevation, and rest, patients may miss several days or weeks of work and could require pain management and physical therapy.
- Broken foot or ankle. There are 26 different bones in the foot, and breaking any one of them can be a painful experience that benches you from your normal work tasks. Fractures in the foot and ankle must be treated carefully so that patients do not suffer long-term consequences of their injury, such as nerve issues or chronic pain.
- Stress fractures. One of the most common overuse injuries in the foot, stress fractures consist of tiny breaks or bruising on the bone that causes pain and makes walking difficult. Although most common among runners and other athletes, foot stress fractures can affect anyone who works on their feet. Treatments range from pain management and crutches to surgery.
- Plantar fasciitis. This painful chronic heel injury occurs when the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. Also called policemen’s foot, this condition can be treated with shoe inserts, pain medication, rest, physical therapy, and surgery. About 80 percent of people with heel pain suffer from this condition.
- Bruised heel. This is a contusion of the fat pad on the heel. A soft tissue injury, this health condition is often suffered by workers who walk for a large part of their days, such as police officers and postal workers. Bruised heels should be rested and/or taped–and a gait analysis should be done to prevent future incidents.
- Tendonitis. Tendonitis is the swelling of a tendon–the tissues that connect muscle to bone. In the foot and ankle, the two most common types of tendonitis are Achilles tendonitis (in the ankle) and extensor tendonitis (in the foot). Tendonitis can be caused by overuse, a poorly fitted shoe, or as the result of a related foot injury. Treatment includes relieving pain and swelling while pinpointing the cause of the inflammation.
- Dislocated toe. Along with sprained toes and broken toes, dislocated toes are a common toe injury suffered by workers. It is important to have this condition examined by a doctor so that the toe can be safely and carefully manipulated back into place. After that, rest, ice and pain management are common treatments.
The Top Reasons For Workplace Foot & Ankle Incidents
How do foot and ankle injuries happen at work? Let’s take a closer look.
Acute foot injuries occur in a single incident and result in an immediate (and immediately painful) health condition. In workplace environments, such incidents involving the foot and ankle are most often caused by falls, heavy machinery, car accidents, and trips. However, it is important to note that acute foot injuries such as sprained ankles and muscle strains can happen in almost any backdrop, from walking down the hall at your office to tripping on a flight of stairs.
Overuse foot injuries Workers who are on their feet for part of or all of the day are in danger of harming their ankles, feet, heels, and toes. While any active employee could suffer from a foot overuse injury, they are more common when the worker does not wear the proper footwear, when they are overworked, when they engage in repetitive movements, or when they have an issue with their gait. Overuse pain including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bruised heels, and stress fractures needs the immediate attention of a medical professional or QME in Dallas.
How To Prevent Foot & Ankle Injuries At Work
Many incidents are preventable, whether they are caused by an isolated accident or by weeks or months of overuse. Some injuries can be prevented by the worker, while others can be prevented by the employer. The best workplaces combine the efforts of the employee and the employer to prevent foot and ankle injuries on the job.
Here are a few injury prevention tips for both workers and their employers:
- Find the right footwear for your job. There isn’t a shoe that is perfect for every occupation, so talk to your employer and your colleagues about a shoe with the right attributes for what you do. A nurse may benefit from wearing a sturdy clog that supports her during the hours on her feet, while a construction worker needs a steel-toed boot. Remember that the right footwear in the wrong size can also lead to injury.
- Know your gait. People have different types of feet and walk differently. If you have issues with your gait or do not correctly match your gait to your footwear, you could become susceptible to injury.
- Practice the right technique. Employers should have workers susceptible to foot and ankle injuries be trained in the proper techniques related to walking, lifting, and other actions that make up their day. Repeating an incorrect technique can quickly lead to a repetitive motion injury.
- Get help early. If you start to feel foot or ankle pain, do not ignore it and hope that it resolves itself. Catching overuse injuries early, and treating acute ones right after they happen, increases the likelihood of a fast and complete recovery.
Another important aspect of prevention is learning from the past. When a foot or ankle injury takes place at work, having a full understanding of why the injury occurred and who was at fault is vital to preventing similar incidents at your workplace in the future. Employers should have a system in place to investigate and analyze all reported work injuries as well as a system to implement new training sessions, safety guidelines, and rules that will help keep workers from harm.
Treating Occupational Foot & Ankle Injuries With Success
Many workers and federal employees simply can’t get their job done without healthy feet and ankles. Both acute and chronic health issues should be dealt with quickly and thoroughly, and a patient’s reports of pain should not be ignored.
At Work Injury MD, our Dallas QME (qualified medical evaluators) offer a full range of foot and ankle treatments, including but not limited to:
- Pain management and medication.
- Physical therapy and physiotherapy.
- Steroid injections.
After tests and diagnosis, our on-staff doctor will work with you to determine the best path for treatment, likely starting with non-narcotic pain medication and non-invasive procedures and treatments. If needed, other treatments will follow to more aggressively heal and relieve pain.
Talk To A Dallas QME Today About Your Foot Or Ankle Pain
We want to help you get back on your feet, both at work and in your life outside of your career. Even if you feel like you have already exhausted your options with another doctor or clinic, we may be able to assist you and move you closer to health. Because we work with those who have experienced workplace injuries, we are also uniquely able to help you understand the Texas workers’ compensation process as well as the United States Department of Labor workers’ compensation process from a medical provider’s viewpoint.
To schedule a consultation with our Dallas QME doctor, or to ask a question about your injury or our services, please call us today or fill out our short contact form.