Because your feet undergo an extreme amount of stress even just walking around and carrying your bodyweight, it’s not surprising the bones in your feet are often at risk for injury, especially when playing sports. In fact, with a total of 26 bones in each foot – that’s a lot of potential for fractures! Whether from trauma due to a blindsiding tackle, or the wear and tear of repetitive stress like marathon training, broken bones can occur, and when they do, it’s important to seek treatment so they heal correctly and are less likely to cause problems such as arthritis or instability in the future.
Lucky Breaks? – Types of Possible Fractures
Closed or Stable – sure, it might not be lucky to break your foot, but if the bones stay inside your skin, and better yet, line up at the site of the break, it is indeed a good thing! It means the bones are more likely to stay aligned as they heal and that’s key to avoiding chronic issues in the future.
Open or Compound – nothing lucky about this type of break! Bones are broken in multiple places or ends are not aligned, and may even pierce the skin, leaving you with an open wound, vulnerable to infection.
After a Fracture
Whether stable or open, x-rays and an MRI should be taken to determine the severity of your broken bone, and if any damage has occurred in surrounding tissues. The right diagnosis allows for the right treatment plan to be put in place as soon as possible. Typically, fractures are treated with rest, ice, medication, and immobilization with a cast or boot. Physical therapy is used to restore strength, flexibility, range of motion, and function once the bone has healed. If the break is open or compound, surgery will likely be necessary prior to casting to ensure proper healing. Remember, never walk around on a swollen, bruised, painful ankle – if it’s broken, you could very well be making matters worse!
Foot Fractures and Their Fixes
Here’s a look at fractures found in the foot and what you can expect from treatment:
- Broken Toe – buddy tape your toe to its neighbor to keep it in alignment while it heals. Ice and ant-inflammatory medication will help ease swelling and pain.
- Stress Fractures – these are cracks in the bone that develop over time. Rest is essential to allow proper healing.
- Midfoot (Lisfranc) Fracture – this occurs with a sudden twisting of your mid-foot and is signified by bruising both on the top and bottom. You will likely need to immobilize your foot with a cast.
- Heel Fracture – Sudden force can break the heel bone and typically in several places. This injury will likely need surgical repair, and a significant amount of off-loading.
- Broken Ankle – for the ankle joint to heal correctly, you will need a cast to keep it in proper position. Depending on severity, surgery may be needed to set the bones straight.
No matter what type of broken bone you sustain, one thing’s for sure – you can count on us to help get you healed up quickly and correctly! Contact our Roselle Park office at (908) 687-5757, or our Princeton location at (609) 924-8333. You can also reach either office by using our online contact form.