A fracture is a crack and/ or weakening in the bone. Foot and Ankle fractures often develops as a result of injury from impact sports such as long distance running, tennis or basketball. As your muscles become tired, they are not able to lessen the blow of repeated impacts and transfer the weight to the bones, and that is where the problems begin. Common areas where fractures happen are second and third metatarsals – foot, heel and the outer bone of the lower leg.

Cause

Foot and ankle fractures can often occur when a high impact activity. When people who do not exercise regularly are more at risk of bone insufficiency. In most of these cases, osteoporosis or other bone issues / complications weaken the bones and any regular activity may result in fracture. Other factors include improper conditioning, poor equipment and environment, and faulty technique.

Symptoms of Fractures

Developing pain that increases with weight-bearing activity and goes away after resting.

Pain that continues to get severe during your everyday activities.

Swelling to the top of foot or on the outside of the ankle.

Tenderness at the fracture site.

Possible bruising.

Diagnosis

During the first consultation, the doctor will talk about your work, exercises, and medications used. It is important that the doctor knows what factors may have produced your fracture. As x-rays don’t always the show fractures, the doctor will sometimes recommend a bone scan or MRI scan.

Treatment

The immediate step towards treatment of foot and ankle fracture is to halt all strenuous or high impact activities. Second thing is to apply ice and elevate foot and ankle about the heart level. Although non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as (NSAIDs) i.e. ibuprofen or naproxen may also assist in relieving pain and swelling.
Non-surgical Treatment usually includes more rest, protective footwear and possibly a cast. Resting for 6-8 weeks will allow the fracture(s) to heal. During this period, it good to make changes in activities that place less strain on leg,ankle and foot. We recommend wearing protective footwear such as a stiff-soled footwear, wooden-soled type sandal or custom fracture brace shoe. Wearing such footwear lessens the stress on foot ankle, and leg. Fractures that are located on the outer side of the foot could take longer to heal. In certain circumstances, the doctor might apply a cast to keep the bones in fixed position and remove stress off the leg. These casts are really a form of external fixation.
In some circumstances, fractures can’t be treated with the above noted methods and might require a surgical solution. This might include internal fixation where screws, pins or plates hold your small bones in the foot and ankle.

Recovery

When your fracture has healed, we suggest a gradual return to your daily routine. We recommend alternating your days with the rest you need in the beginning. Varying your activities may help avoid repeated stress on your foot and ankle.

Dr. Paul A. Weiner Podiatric Medicine and SurgeryNeeding more information on Foot and Ankle Fractures or treatments available? Give us a call at (561) 265-5424, or contact us. Find the best podiatry services in Palm Beach County at our Delray Beach Foot Clinic located  here. Needing to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Weiner Click here.

 Posted on : July 23, 2014