Foot Fracture Treatment in Golden Valley, MN
Taking Care of Foot Fractures
When you consider that nearly a quarter of the bones in the body are found in the feet and the incredible demands we put on them, it is understandable that injuries can happen. Your feet are designed and structured to provide the support, stability, and movement your body requires. A trip, a fall, dropping something heavy on your foot, or a collision with another player in a sports game can cause too much stress on the foot. Each of these can result in a fracture, one of the most common foot injuries we handle at our office in Golden Valley, MN.
Traumatic vs. Stress Fractures
A severe fracture to the foot could lead to long-term complications and possible disability. However, a minor injury often resolves quickly with self-care options. The right diagnosis and quick, appropriate treatment are essential factors for your foot health in the future.
When a foot injury happens, it is sometimes difficult to know whether you have sustained a sprain or a fracture. A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn, and a fracture indicates an actual break in a bone. A traumatic fracture and a stress fracture are two types that can occur.
A traumatic fracture, also called “acute,” involves a direct blow to your toe, foot, or ankle. Stubbing your toe, or enduring an impact injury during sports, can result in a broken bone. The break can be displaced, where the bone has actually changed position or non-displaced. You can often hear a sound at the time of a break with this kind of fracture and will feel immediate pain. There may be an abnormal appearance if the bones are out of place along with bruising and swelling. Even with a traumatic fracture, it could be possible to walk on your foot, but we advise seeking immediate treatment before the injury worsens, especially if bone is visible outside of the skin.
A stress fracture involves a very tiny, hairline crack in the bone. These are usually caused by repetitive impact on the foot over time. Runners and other athletes are prone to this type of injury. An abnormal foot structure, ill-fitting shoes, and osteoporosis can also lead to the development of a stress fracture.
Why the Right Treatment is Important
It is common to think, “It must be ok if I can walk on it.” That is simply not true and a dangerous position to be in. Any time a foot injury happens, whether minor or severe, it should be looked at to determine its severity and what treatment would be appropriate. If a fractured toe or bone in the foot or ankle is not treated properly, failure to heal the way it should could lead to chronic pain and the need for future surgery. Long-term dysfunction, limited mobility, and arthritis are also risk factors when a fracture is not treated appropriately.
Treatment of Fractures
Your treatment will be tailored to where the fracture occurred and how severe the injury is. Toe fractures may require one or more of the following treatment options: rest, splinting in a fixed position, “buddy taping” the toe to an adjacent toe, wearing a stiff-soled shoe to protect the toe, or surgery if the bone is badly displaced.
A stress fracture follows similar treatment guidelines, but it typically begins with an evaluation to determine what may have caused its development. Once that is confirmed, it will usually be necessary to avoid that activity so that the fracture has time to heal. Crutches, immobilization, or casting may be necessary to take weight off the foot and protect the fractured bone while it is healing. Surgery may be required with a traumatic fracture to reset the bone.
Anyone can experience a fracture. A fall, stubbing your toe or starting a new exercise routine could lead to foot pain you did not have before. You need a qualified podiatrist who can determine the extent of your injury, the cause of the pain, and provide the right treatment. Contact Dr. Thomas Silver at Westwood Foot Clinic in Golden Valley, MN with any concerns you may have. Make an appointment today by calling our office at (763) 231-2341, or request one online.