Medical Intervention of Slow Healing Fractures

Foot and ankle fractures are common injuries that can occur in anyone, no matter how old you are or what your lifestyle looks like. If you experience pain in your foot while you walk, it’s possible you have an undiagnosed fracture.

Worse yet, if your foot pain has gone on for a long period of time, you might have a nonunion fracture, which means your fracture hasn’t healed properly. To ensure you regain full strength and range of motion in your foot after getting a slow-healing fracture, Thomas Rambacher, DPM FACFAS, FAPWCA, the lead podiatrist at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, encourages you to seek treatment for your foot or ankle fracture as soon as possible. 

Understand the different kinds of fractures that can occur in your feet and ankles and the treatment available for slow healing fractures.

Understanding foot and ankle fractures

Fractures are breaks that can occur in any bone throughout your body. You usually get a fracture after trauma, accidents, or pressure or strain to the fractured bone.

Your feet and ankles are a common area to get fractures. You have a number of small bones throughout your feet and ankles, all of which can be vulnerable to breaking.

The biggest symptom of a foot or ankle fracture is immediate and severe pain, which usually occurs after trauma in most kinds of fractures. The area might be red, swollen, bruised, and painful to put weight on.

The different kinds of fractures

When you get your foot evaluated by our doctors, they determine whether you have a fracture or a similar type of painful injury, like a ligament sprain. If you have a fracture, they’ll let you know which type of fracture you have.

Fractures can range from clean breaks, where the fracture doesn’t interfere with the alignment of your foot, to more complex fractures that shatter, break through your skin, or crack your bone. The more complicated your fracture is, the more likely it is to have difficulties healing properly, even with medical care.

What is a slow healing fracture?

Your fracture can develop into a union fracture, which means your fracture heals as expected, or a nonunion fracture, which means your fracture doesn’t respond well to treatment. You can also have a delayed union fracture that takes extra time to heal.

Union fractures

When you have a union fracture, your bone slowly and gradually heals after an injury. Having a union fracture doesn’t mean you don’t need treatment, but it does mean your fracture responds as expected to the course of treatment set out at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle.

Nonunion fractures

Union fractures fail to heal properly, even when prescribed a course of treatment and given high-quality medical care. This happens when the fracture isn’t stable enough and doesn’t have enough of a blood supply to heal.

Any fracture can be nonunion, but some factors make it more likely. Your risk of having a nonunion fracture goes up if your fracture was a more complicated break. Smoking or tobacco use, nutritional deficits, diabetes, certain medical conditions, and simply being older can also contribute.

Delayed union fractures

When you have a delayed union, you can expect your fracture to heal as expected with medical treatment. However, the fracture takes longer than usual to respond to treatment.

Getting your foot and ankle fracture treated

If you might have a fracture in your foot and ankle, it’s important to always see our podiatrists for treatment, even if the suspected fracture is in a small area, like your toe. Getting podiatry treatment ensures your fracture heals properly, preventing bad outcomes, like loss of mobility or incorrect alignment in your foot.

For clean break fractures, our doctors can usually heal them by putting your foot in a splint or cast. If your fracture caused more serious alignment problems, they might recommend minimally invasive or reconstructive surgery to ensure your foot gets back into place while it heals.

When you have a nonunion or union delayed union fracture, our team can help accelerate or bring healing to the fracture through nonsurgical or surgical methods. Our team draws up a treatment plan unique to the needs of your fracture and ensures you understand the treatment process before getting started.

For experienced, professional treatment of your foot or ankle fracture, schedule your appointment today with Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle online or over the phone.

You Might Also Enjoy...

4 Steps to Take to Prevent Gout Attacks

If you have agonizing swelling and pain in your big toe, you could have a type of arthritis called gout. Straightforward lifestyle changes reduce your risk of excruciating gout attacks. Follow these tips to keep from getting gout flare-ups.

What Puts You Most at Risk of Developing Bunions?

If you have loved ones with bunions, you’re probably wondering what you can do to reduce your risk of developing them yourself. Find out the top risk factors for developing bunions and what you can do if they interfere with your life.

When Should I See a Specialist for an Ankle Sprain?

All it takes is one misstep or fall when you’re playing sports, running to catch up with the bus, or even going on a gentle walk to sprain your ankle. Here’s when you should get specialist care for an ankle sprain.

Neuropathy and Nerve Entrapment of the Foot and Ankle

When the nerves in your feet or ankle get trapped, you can experience repeated, debilitating pain that interrupts your life without any visible symptoms. Discover more about neuropathy, nerve entrapment, and how to treat them.

How Ganglion Cysts Can Affect Your Feet

If you have a soft, smooth-looking lump on your foot that moves around when you touch it, you could have an uncomfortable soft tissue mass called a ganglion cyst. Keep reading to learn more about how ganglion cysts can affect your feet.