Fractures could happen to any of the 26 bones in your foot and often mimic the symptoms of ligament sprains. If you have severe or chronic pain in your feet, Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, can help. The team provides expert diagnosis and treatment for foot fractures, including using minimally invasive techniques to perform reconstructive surgeries. Call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.
Fractures are breaks in your bones. You have 26 bones throughout your foot and ankle, and fractures are quite common.
Most of the bones in your feet are small, and as they support your body weight, they have to deal with significant levels of pressure and strain every day.
Fractures occur when some form of trauma puts your bones under more pressure or strain than they can handle.
There are a number of different types of fractures. You might have a clean break, where the bone snaps in two but stays in alignment. These are the simplest fractures to treat.
If your foot gets squashed under a heavy weight or in an accident, you might sustain a comminuted fracture, which means the bones have shattered into several pieces.
Compound fractures are breaks that result in part of a bone protruding through your skin, or where a wound is so severe, you can see the bone. These types of open fractures require emergency treatment, not just because they can be excruciatingly painful but also because they're more likely to get infected.
Stress fractures are common in your feet. These develop slowly, unlike acute fractures. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in your bones that multiply over time until they start causing pain and loss of function. Stress fractures typically result from overuse, often from running on hard ground or in unsuitable footwear.
Fractures of the bones in your feet are often painful. Unless the problem is a stress fracture, the pain is likely to be instant and severe. You might find you have difficulty walking or moving your foot, which might swell, turn red, and start to bruise.
If you can see an abnormality in your foot because a bone is out of position, that's a clear sign of a fracture. However, just because you can't see any evidence of a break doesn't mean there isn't one.
The symptoms of some fractures are very similar to the symptoms of severe sprains, where a ligament stretches and tears. You won't be able to tell a fracture from a sprain without an expert diagnosis, so if you have the symptoms of these injuries, you should contact Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle.
For simple fractures where the bones are still in place, immobilization with a cast or splint enables your body to heal the bone in around 6-8 weeks.
More complex fractures might require surgery. Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle specializes in minimally invasive surgeries and reconstructive surgery of the foot, repositioning misaligned bones and using screws or rods to fix the bones in place during the healing period.
Physical therapy helps you recover a normal range of motion and strength in your foot after a fracture.
If you think you might have fractured a bone in your foot, call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.