Foot & Ankle Injuries & Fractures
The feet and ankles play a primary role in the support and mobility of a person’s body. Injuries to the feet or ankles can be debilitating and dramatically affect one’s ability to perform otherwise simple day-to-day tasks.
Foot and Ankle Fractures
At our podiatry office, we help our patients through the entire rehabilitative process. Our goal is to pinpoint the source of foot and ankle traumas, such as fractures and sprains, and see them through to recovery.
You may be a candidate for fracture care if you have suffered a physical trauma that has resulted in chronic pain, swelling or bruising. In some cases, breaks are so severe that they are cause visible deformations. In other cases, fractures cause few or no symptoms at all, making them especially difficult for the average person to detect. Come see Dr. Barksdale, a highly trained foot and ankle specialist, if you think you may have suffered a fracture or break.
Fracture care varies from patient to patient depending on the extent of the break. Your doctor will x-ray your affected bone to determine the course of treatment necessary to facilitate healing in your bone. If you have a small hairline fracture, you may need no treatment at all aside from a little rest. On the other hand, a bone that has broken in multiple areas may need to be set or surgically repaired using internal rods and pins or external stabilization methods. Many fractures also require the use of a cast or sling to immobilize the bone and prevent additional damage from occurring. In some cases, physical therapy is necessary to regain full use of an affected bone and the connective tissues located near it.
Your body will need time to heal and repair your fracture. Depending on the nature of your bone fracture, this could take just a few weeks, or it could take many months. Your doctor will provide you with instructions for avoiding certain physical activities during this time. If you had surgery to repair one or more bone fractures, you may be prescribed medications for use in the days or weeks immediately following treatment.
Pain and swelling are the most obvious signs of a foot or ankle trauma. If you have fractured your foot, it is likely that you will experience some pain and swelling, as well as some bruising. Depending on the extent of the fracture and where it is located, you may be able to walk or limp, though doing so may worsen the pain. If you break your ankle, the pain will be sudden and severe, preventing you from putting any weight on the affected ankle. You may also notice a visible dislocation or deformity, as well as some swelling and bruising.
Treatment for a podiatry injury depends on the type and extent of the injury. The first step is always to rest the injury and apply ice while keeping it elevated until you can see a doctor. Some foot and ankle injuries require surgery, whereas others may only require a cast or compression. All foot and ankle injuries require a period of rest, during which time a patient must refrain from applying pressure to the affected foot or engaging in strenuous activity, such as exercise or sports. Rehabilitation may be necessary for injuries that have caused a tightening or inflammation of the muscles and ligaments.
It is impossible to prevent all foot and ankle traumas, but there are preventative measures you can take to avoid an injury. Start by wearing supportive and well-fitting shoes on a daily basis. Many people wear supportive shoes when exercising, but change into dangerous pumps or flip flops for daily wear. It is just as possible to sustain a broken foot after tripping in high heels as it is to during a workout. Stretching and proper training are also important for preventing foot and ankle injuries. Talk to your podiatrist before starting a new workout regimen or activity – especially if you have been inactive for a while. An exam can reveal whether your feet are healthy enough for activity.