Jackson & New Orleans Fractures Lawyer
Foot and ankle fractures are not uncommon workplace injuries that range from painful and debilitating to severe damage requiring complicated surgery to repair. As with shoulder and knee injuries, foot and ankle fractures may go beyond broken bones and involve damage to joints as well, often requiring the intervention of an orthopedic surgeon. If the workers’ compensation carrier is denying the appropriate form of treatment for a fracture or refusing to approve referral to a specialist, the Mississippi and Louisiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC can help. We understand the complex medical issues that go into the proper treatment of bone and joint fractures, and we know the legal responsibilities employers and their insurers owe to workers injured on the job. Learn more about fracture injuries below, and call our offices in Jackson or New Orleans to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.
How do fractures happen on the job?
Foot and ankle fractures can happen on the job in a variety of workplace accidents. Some of the most common include:
- A falling object crushes the foot
- Warehouse worker has foot run over by a forklift backing up
- The foot is crushed in a collapsing trench
- Fall from a ladder or scaffold
- A first responder trips or twists the ankle while running
There are many bones in the ankle and foot, and more than one bone may break in an industrial accident or construction accident. The more bones that are broken, the less likely you will be able to bear any weight on that foot. Ligaments may be damaged as well, knocking the ankle out of place. Depending on your job, you may be unable to return to work until the fractures are completely healed, although you may be fit for a light-duty assignment that doesn’t require standing or walking. If you earn less than your regular wage on a light-duty or restricted assignment, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including medical bills and wage replacement.
The ankle is formed at the intersection of three bones: the two lower leg bones, tibia and fibula, and the talus. There are also two joints that may be injured in an ankle break: the ankle joint (tibia, fibula and talus) and the syndesmosis joint (tibia, fibula and ligaments). Symptoms of an ankle fracture include pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, the ankle seems out of place or deformed, and you can’t put any weight on it. These same symptoms can also indicate that the ankle is not broken but is severely sprained.
Treatment for a sprain typically involves rest, ice, compression and elevation. It may be necessary to stay off the foot for several days to allow the ankle to heal. In the case of a fracture, a cast or brace may be all that is needed if the bone is not displaced or only mildly displaced. If the bone is displaced, unstable or at risk of not healing correctly (nonunion), surgery will likely be required. Surgical repair can involve the use of screws and plates on the surface of the bone or utilizing screws and rods inside the bone. Bone grafts may also be necessary for an impacted or indented joint.
The recovery period for an ankle fracture is typically about six weeks if the bone was nondisplaced, and considerably longer if surgery was required. Ankle fractures further carry the risk of cartilage damage and developing arthritis.
The foot contains 26 different bones – seven tarsals, five metatarsals and 14 phalanges (toe bones). Metatarsal or phalanges fractures can often be treated with tape or footwear, although they may still be painful and require a period off of work to heal properly. A fracture to any of the tarsals, including the heel (calcaneus), can be extremely painful and disabling. Surgery is often required to repair, and accident victims are at risk of loss of motion and arthritis after a break.
Foot fractures can occur as a consequence of a ladder fall or crush injury. Also, stress fractures can develop due to repetitive activity.
Help with Workers’ Comp Fracture Claims in New Orleans and Jackson
It is often necessary to see an orthopedist after an ankle or foot injury, but obtaining a referral to a specialist is a common area of disagreement when workers’ compensation insurance is involved. Make sure you get the care you need promptly by calling an experienced Jackon or New Orleans workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your claim. In Jackson, Mississippi or New Orleans, Louisiana, call Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC to review your case with an experienced and successful workers’ compensation lawyer.