Pennsylvania employees, especially those in high-risk professions, should be aware of the possibility that serious medical issues could affect their future employment options. Workers need to pay attention to their injuries so that they can continue working in high-demand professions that offer better compensation.
When workers get hurt on the job, they often have a tendency to ignore their symptoms – or, at least to downplay them – instead of asking for support from their employers. Broken bones often seem like injuries that employees can work around, as people assume that their fractures will heal cleanly. However, there are at least two medical scenarios in which a broken bone can force someone to change their profession or prevent them from continuing to perform manual work.
When the injury results in an amputation
Most broken bones get set either in a doctor’s office or during surgery. However, in scenarios involving open fractures and comminuted fractures where the bone breaks into many pieces, sometimes medical professionals must amputate to affected body part. Research indicates that while surgical amputations can result in improved overall function during long-term recovery as opposed to attempts to save a severely damaged extremity after a fracture, workers who undergo amputation often have a hard time retaining their jobs later.
When the healing process goes wrong
Trauma and the body’s response to it can sometimes result in a lifelong degenerative condition that causes pain and physical limitations. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a rare medical issue previously referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), sometimes develops as a result of a broken bone. The symptoms of the condition include worsening pain symptoms even after someone’s body heals and frequently also a reduction in strength and range of motion in the affected body part. Workers should never take for granted that a broken bone or fracture will heal cleanly and quickly.
Those who suffer fractures on the job may benefit from filing a workers’ compensation claim to both cover their treatment expenses and replace their lost wages. Recognizing how an injury could affect someone’s future earning potential may motivate them to seek legal guidance and pursue workers’ compensation.