Whole-Body Vibration Injuries to the Ankles and Feet
Whole-body vibration injuries to the ankles and feet are a subset of cumulative trauma injuries. Railroad workers have a right to fair compensation, under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), for whole-body vibration injuries to their ankles and/or feet caused by their work on moving trains — a source of chronic, unremitting whole-body vibration.
Examples of Injuries to the Ankles and Feet
The feet and ankles are vulnerable to repetitive stress (such as that experienced by people who are on their feet all day on the job, but particularly when they're on surfaces that move and/or vibrate). Some of the foot and ankle problems that can occur are:
- Plantar fasciitis: due to irritation and inflammation of the tissue that makes the arch of the foot. Symptoms include heel pain with prolonged walking and standing.
- Heel spur: a "hook" of bone that forms where the plantar fascia tissue attaches to the heel bone
- Ankle sprain: when the ligaments of the foot are torn or stretched too far
- Achilles tendonitis (inflammation) or rupture, sometimes from cumulative trauma
- Posterior tibial tendonitis: inflammation of one of the foot's major tendons in the foot
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome: essentially a pinched nerve in the back of the foot
- Neuropathy: nerve damage that can leave the feet feeling painful or numb or tingling
Each of these foot and/or ankle injuries or disorders can be debilitating, leaving the affected person unable to work, travel about freely, or even lead a normal daily life. So much of the human body's functioning rests on the feet and ankles.
If You Have a Vibration Injury to your Ankles or Feet
If you are a railroad worker (currently or retired) and you are experiencing symptoms of a vibration injury in your feet and/or ankles or another repetitive trauma injury, you may be eligible for compensation under the FELA. A FELA lawyer can tell you more. Keep in mind that the FELA allows claims within three years of the date that you knew (or should have known) you had a work-related injury.