Who Should I see for a Broken Foot?
When you think you have a broken foot or ankle, you might head to the emergency room for x-rays. But guess what? That’s actually not your best treatment option.
At the emergency room, you’ll probably face a long wait for x-rays. And then, the technician reading your film likely won’t be a foot and ankle expert. Which means he or she could easily miss a small break, or misdiagnose your condition. Both of which could leave you in pain, and extend your healing time.
Here at Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, all we do is treat pain in your feet, toes and ankles. That’s why we offer in-office x-rays, to quickly diagnose your foot fractures. Then, once we find your fracture, we can come up with the right treatment.
That was certainly the case for our patient Cassia G., who recently shared, “Dr. Walsh is excellent with dancers and athletes. Last spring my daughter suffered a “dancers break” in her foot that had her sidelined at the start of competition season. Dr. Walsh was so positive and encouraging that she would bounce back from her injury. She treated the fracture and then helped her get it rehabbed so that she was able to return for the end of the season, win first place with her solo, and successfully tryout for the Klein Cain Legacies. We are so thankful for a doctor who partnered with us to help my daughter keep doing what she loves! Highly recommend!”
We love hearing your feedback. And we want to help you understand every step of your care. So, today, we’ll delve into the three most common foot and ankle fractures we treat at our Spring and Tomball TX podiatry practice. And remember to come see us if you think you’re dealing with any of these injuries.
We often see stress fractures in athletes and runners. A stress fracture develops when your bone cracks or breaks, but the bone doesn’t move. We consider stress fractures overuse injuries: they develop over time, as you repeatedly expose your bone to the exact same force. Stress fractures often develop when you rapidly increase your training—playing the same sport more often, or running more miles at a faster pace.
If we diagnose your stress fracture, you’ll have to give your bone a break during your treatment period. We’ll also suggest icing and elevating your injury, when possible, if we can catch your fracture in the first two days.
Depending on the location of your stress fracture, bearing weight can prevent healing. For that reason, we may provide you with a surgical walking boot, so you can stay mobile while letting your fracture heal. Finally, we may recommend anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief and to reduce any swelling.
Broken Foot and Ankle Treatment
We also see a lot of broken ankles in our podiatry practice. Most often, this injury comes after trauma—something causes your ankle to twist abnormally, and that force or pressure breaks your bone. We see this injury a lot with kids who play contact sports such as football or basketball. But broken ankles are also common tennis injuries, as you quickly pivot and put excess force on your ankle.
Signs of a broken ankle include bruising, redness, swelling and pain. If your ankle is broken, it will be more difficult to bear weight on that foot. But remember—it won’t be impossible. So being able to walk on your foot or ankle isn’t a sign you’ve avoided a fracture. In fact, the only way to know if you’ve broken your ankle is to get an x-ray.
If your ankle is broken, your podiatrist will have to look carefully at your injury site. We can treat a broken ankle with immobilization (casting) if your broken bone stays put. But if you have a displaced ankle fracture (that means the bone shards have moved out of alignment), you’ll need surgery for your broken ankle.
Luckily, podiatrists are highly trained surgeons. And they only operate on your feet and ankles. Which means your podiatrist is your best choice for surgery to repair a broken foot or ankle.
Treating Broken Toes
Sadly, it’s pretty easy to break our toes. They stick out at the end of our feet, meaning they get bumped and banged a lot. Plus, we tend to drop heavy items on our toes. All of which can leave you with breaks in your delicate toe bones.
Maybe you’ve heard there’s not much to do for a broken toe, but that’s not quite true. If you leave a broken toe to heal on its own, it might not heal correctly. And that could leave you with deformities, chronic pain and, later on, arthritis in your toe.
Instead, you should come into our office if you think you’ve broken a toe. As with any foot or ankle injury, our podiatrists can assess the nature of your fracture. Then, using our years of experience treating broken toes or ankles, we can offer taping or other treatment methods. These will ensure that your broken bone heals properly. And allow you to walk comfortably for many years to come!
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