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Is PF a work related injury?

Posted by Ed Davis, DPM on 4/24/04 at 01:12 (149463)

A work related injury may be defined as an incident, that is, a traumatic incident, causing pain or disability at work. A work related disease is a gradual process like carpal tunnel that is cumulative, related to stresses incurred in the work environment.

I maintain that it can be both but more often the latter.

This question has very broad implications for issues of time loss, compensation for impairment and WHO is to pay for the medical care, that is, if work related, it will be the worker's comp. carrier, not the standard insurance carrier.

I would like to open this up for discussion as it basically starts a whole new chapter in Scott's Heel Pain Book. It is an issue that a lot of third parties would like to avoid. I think it is time to open it up for discussion. Lets hear your opinions on this.
Ed

Re: Is PF a work related injury?

Tim M on 4/26/04 at 15:33 (149573)

Ed:

I agree with you, PF is a 'repetitive strain injury, RSI, or 'repetitive strain disorder.' If you look up the definitions of these at hyperdictionary.com, you find that the cause, symptoms and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis are similar to (if not the same as) those for PF.

So, PF must come under the category of a Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD), and as such I think there is a good case for it being covered under worker's comp.

If you look at http://www.afscme.org/health/ergot02.htm , you will see some more information which would cause me to vote for PF as a 'work related disease.'

Tim M

Re: Is PF a work related injury? To ScottR and Tim M:

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/27/04 at 22:15 (149675)

Tim:
Thank you for an excellent link. ScottR -- I think you know where I want to go with this. I am convinced that PF is... first a disease of modern society related to atrophy of the intrinsic musculature of the foot. Second, it truly is a repetetive strain injury, and, if so, may significantly change the treatment paradigm for this problem.
Ed

Re: Is PF a work related injury? To ScottR and Tim M:

BudP on 4/30/04 at 07:18 (149818)

Posted by BudP on 4/27/04 at 07:35 View Thread
Ed,
Each state has different WC laws. I live in Florida and the law is really stacked against the worker. In the delivery business,UPS,FEDEX,POSTAL,Etc PF seems to be a common injury. It is almost always disputed by the WC carrier.However if the attending doctor says it is work related then it can be considered a WC injury. Normally the WC carrier will have another doctor dispute this. But if it goes before a WC judge or mediator,they will most of the time rule in favor of the worker. Especially if there is no pattern of foot problems in the workers history outside of work.I've seen where it was ruled a repetitive stress injury.

Bud

Re: Is PF a work related injury? To ScottR and Tim M:

scott r on 4/30/04 at 07:27 (149819)

Everybody, please bookmark this thread and re post messages to this location when they are related to work injury and especially workers compensation and pther insurance isuues dealing with work.

Re: Is PF a work related injury?

Richard, C.Ped on 4/30/04 at 09:47 (149826)

I think it can very well be a work related injury. We see postal workers, home improvement center (Lowe's, Home Depot) workers, and large factory workers. Construction workers as well due to the constant standing and kneeling some tend to do.

One major problem is, some insurance companies do not think PF is a serious problem. I have a feeling workers comp will feel the same way. Knowing someone broke their leg by falling off a ladder is tangable, but not being able to 'see' the PF injury or how it came about is a problem.
Richard, C.Ped

Re: Is PF a work related injury?

Ed Davis, DPM on 4/30/04 at 19:04 (149852)

Richard and ScottR:
Workers comp. systems generally recognize work related injuries and work related diseases. A work related injury is almost always accepted. eg. someone drops a heavy object on one's foot causing a fracture or bruise.
A work related disease is a repetitive strain type injury, eg. carpal tunnel syndrome. Many workers comp. carriers have a 'short list' of repetitive stain injuries and PF is not on that list. I would argue that it should be.

Now, some workers have gotten 'wise' to the system. They may have some plantar fasciitis and then an 'injury' occurs which causes a 'lighting up' of symptomatology. For example, a worker is coming off a ladder, misses several steps and the heel hits the ground. PF is now a work related injury and accepted without question. As a treating doctor I do not question the worker to verifiy the mechanism of 'injury' but must accept what the worker states.
Ed
Ed

Re: Is PF a work related injury?

Dr. Z on 4/30/04 at 19:22 (149856)

I like had a case accepted for the fact that the duties of the job causes the plantar fasciiits/fasciosis.