Did you know that nearly one-fourth of the bones in the body are located in the feet? Because of this, fractures in the foot are common and rarely debilitating. Here at DM Foot and Ankle, we commonly treat these injuries and want to help educate you on the symptoms and treatment associated with fractures.
There are two types of fractures. A stress fracture typically occurs in the space between the toes and middle of the foot, usually as a result of a physical activity gone awry. These fractures are only on the surface of the bone.
General bone fractures extend through the bone. These injuries are usually caused by trauma to the foot. Your recommended course of treatment will depend on the type of fracture and placement. Foot fractures typically heal on their own, although more serious cases may require surgery.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect your foot is fractured so treatment can begin right away. Common signs and symptoms of fractures in the foot include:
- Pain that goes away during periods of rest
- Pain that occurs during normal, everyday activities and intensifies
- Swelling in the ankle or on top of the foot
- Tenderness around the affected area
Fractures can occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common include bone insufficiency, improper technique or poor conditioning when exercising, changes in the surface on which you are walking or exercising, and improper footwear. With these factors in mind, it is important to do your part in helping protect yourself from the dangers of foot fractures by taking appropriate preventative measures.
Always wear properly fitting shoes that are appropriate for the activities in which you plan to engage. Even custom foot orthotics can wear out over time, so always check your shoes for any signs of wear and tear that may indicate that you need a new pair.
Eat a healthy diet rich in Vitamin D to promote bone strength.
When starting a new type of workout, begin slowly. Don’t try to conquer your goals all in one workout, but take the extra time to do the movements and techniques correctly. Be sure to vary your workouts so you aren’t overworking one part of the body and underworking another.
Incorporate strength training in your workouts. Make sure you are using the proper techniques required to safely complete your workout. If you are unsure if you have proper form, always consult with a trainer or your podiatrist to ensure that you aren’t hurting yourself.
Refrain from overworking your feet. If you feel the pain that persists for more than a few days with swelling and doesn’t get better after resting, contact us for an appointment.
If you have experienced a foot fracture, be sure to practice the RICE method between now and your appointment. NSAIDs are also an option for relieving pain associated with fractures and can help keep you comfortable in the meantime. For minor fractures, we may have you continue with the RICE treatment and may prescribe additional pain medication should you require it.
For those more serious injuries, x-rays, casting, and even surgery may be prescribed depending on the severity of the fracture. The most important part of recovery from any type of fracture is going to be rest, so you are going to want to hold off on setting that new personal record until the doctor has cleared you to resume your normal activities.
If you have any questions about your foot health or would like to schedule a consultation, contact DM Foot and Ankle today for an appointment. We would love to help bring you one step closer to a pain-free life!