When Foot Bones Break: Broken Toes to Ankle Fractures
It is really hard to own a car in the City, so most New Yorkers walk a lot. That has great health benefits, but also puts you more at risk for injury. Your entire weight can come down on each foot anywhere from 2,500 to 7,500 times a day or more, depending on how far you go. That’s a lot of pressure, and it only takes one bad step to end up with a foot fracture. Here are the type of breaks we commonly see and treat at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates in Queens.
Stress Fracture Hassles
A stress fracture can happen in any of the bones in your foot and ankle. The break does not separate the bone in two, but only occurs in the outer surface layer. It can be just as painful and limiting as a complete break, however. They usually occur from overuse—suddenly changing your amount of physical activity before your body becomes accustomed to it. Weekend warriors who are inactive during the week are common victims, as are seasoned runners who suddenly add miles to their runs. Signs include pain after activity that goes away with rest, bruising, swelling, and tenderness when you press on a specific spot.
Broken Toe Woe
Toe fractures could happen when someone stomps on your foot in the subway or you jam it against a curb. It can be hard to distinguish a break from a sprain, but if the pain continues beyond a couple of days or swelling doesn’t go down, you need to get it checked. If it is broken, treatment is usually simple: rest, icing to reduce pain, elevation to reduce swelling, and possibly splinting or buddy taping it. Plan on a few weeks before your toe is back to normal.
Foot Bone Groans
The long bones that connect the base of your toes with the bones at the back of your foot are called metatarsals. Children whose bones are still hardening or older folks with weaker bone tissue are both at risk for a metatarsal fracture, but so are those who run and jump or zigzag from side to side—think soccer, basketball, football, even dancing. Swelling, bruising and pain are the usual symptoms, but it may take an x-ray or other imaging test to tell whether the bone is broken. Depending on the seriousness of the break, rest and taping, use of a boot or splint, or even surgery may be needed to help the bones heal correctly.
Heel Break Aches
Although a full heel fracture will most likely be the result of an auto accident or a fall from some distance, a stress fracture of the calcaneus can happen with repeated trauma from running, dancing, jumping or landing in sports. Sudden pain, inability to bear weight, and bruising and swelling could all be signs of a break in this large foot bone. Rest and non-weight bearing is necessary to help it heal properly so you can return to activity without further damage. Physical therapy may also be needed for full healing.
A Broken Ankle Rankles
Whether you injure it in a fall, from a severe twist, or from an impact with something hard, an ankle fracture usually causes severe pain right away, along with an inability to bear weight on it. Bruising and swelling may also occur and the joint may look misshapen. You may mistake it for a bad sprain, so it’s best to have us check out any ankle injury. It could just be ligament damage, but you could also have one or more breaks. The extent of the injury will determine how we treat it—from advising RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to setting you up with an orthopedic surgeon if the fracture requires surgery.
Seek Out the Foot Experts in Queens
The podiatrists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates have over 100 years combined foot care experience. When you suspect a foot or ankle fracture, or even a dislocation, come to the experts. Give our Rego Park office a call at (718) 896-4433, the Flushing location at (718) 969-2266, and our office in Plainview at (516) 822-9595, and put your broken bones in our care. Or fill out our online appointment request form.