Injuries of the foot and ankle in occupational medicine: a 1-year study

J Foot Ankle Surg. 1999 Mar-Apr;38(2):102-8. doi: 10.1016/s1067-2516(99)80020-9.


With occupational injuries, both the employee and employer are impaired by monetary or physical damages. Administrative and clinical data can assist in identifying risks for these injuries. While musculoskeletal injuries are well known, foot and ankle injuries are not as frequently described as back and hand injuries. Changes in the workplace may then be implemented dependent on the risk factors identified. A retrospective study was completed on all foot and ankle injuries that were reported to the Oakwood Hospital Downriver Center Occupational Medicine Clinics over 1 year. Of 3851 new injuries, 245 (6.4%) were due to foot and ankle injuries. The mean age was 36.7+/-9.2 (mean +/- S.D.) years and 64% men. No seasonal variation was seen. Most commonly the ankle (46.9%) was injured. A diagnosis of sprain was most frequent (40.8%), followed by contusions (26.5%). A twisting mechanism of injury was seen 27.3% of the time. Medical charges ranged from $100 to $6414, although over two thirds of the patients had expenses between $250 and $749. Eleven patients required surgery, costing $9125+/-2321. Most often injured were operators, fabricators, and laborers. Workers were restricted for 20.5+/-21.4 days, although they were allowed light duty most of the time (16.8+/-16.5 days).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / economics
  • Ankle Injuries / etiology*
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy
  • Female
  • Foot Injuries / economics
  • Foot Injuries / etiology*
  • Foot Injuries / therapy
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Occupational Medicine* / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupations
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sprains and Strains / etiology