First Aid for Fractures

fracture first aidGiven the fact they house roughly one-quarter of all the bones in your body, there is plenty of opportunity to sustain a broken bone in your lower limbs. When this happens, it’s important to know how to perform first aid for fractures. Taking the right measures is the first step in ensuring proper healing for the injured bone!

First aid for broken bones in your lower limbs begins with keeping weight off the affected appendage. Additionally, you should do whatever you can to avoid pressure on the injury and you should restrict any movement that causes pain.

Icing the area that contains a broken bone will help minimize swelling in the area and decrease the pain that accompanies a fracture. When doing so, keep the ice—wrapped in a thin towel and NOT applied directly to your skin—on the affected area for up to 20 minutes at a time. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be used to assist with pain, but be sure to consult with our office before utilizing this method of pain management.

In order to prevent swelling and bruising in the area, keep your foot elevated as often as you possibly can, especially in the first couple of days following the injury. This is another way to control the pain you will likely experience.

In the case of a fractured toe bone, you may need to “buddy tape” it. You can think of this as using a natural splint that your body conveniently provides. Here are the steps to perform this procedure:

  1. Gather the necessary materials, which include soft material for padding, tape, and scissors.
  2. Insert padding in-between the injured toe and the one next to it that you are using as a splint. This padding can be cotton, gauze, or any other soft material you happen to have around.
  3. Start one end of the tape at the front of one of the toes and begin to gently, yet firmly, wrap the tape around both the support and injured toe. Continue for two or three more passes, to stabilize the entire length of the toe, and then cut the tape and secure it. Note that the wrapping should be snug, but so tight that you cut off circulation. Should you observe a change in skin color that is not due to bruising, loosen the tape.

The essential action you need to take when you have, or suspect that you have, fractured toes is to visit our practice at your earliest convenience. We will examine the injury, to ensure that it is indeed a break and not a condition with similar symptoms, and then X-ray the area to see the extent of the damage and how it needs to be set. In some cases, breaks require surgery to place the bones into the correct positioning so they can heal properly.

Having a broken bone in your foot isn’t fun, but you’re always in good hands when you come to Associates in Podiatry. We provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment so you can get back to enjoying your life. Call us at our Princeton office at (609) 924-8333 or our Roselle Park office at (908) 687-5757, or contact us online today.