Your foot may look small but it is a complex structure that contains 26 bones—that’s nearly 25% of all the bones in your body. Just like any other bones, foot bones get fractured, as we often see at Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle. Foot fractures fall into two categories:
General Fractures—these are the traditional, through the bone fractures. This category breaks down further into displaced fractures—when the bones no longer align properly at the break point, and open fractures—where the broken bone actually comes through the skin.
Stress Fractures—with this type of fracture the break does not go all the way through the bone. These are small cracks in the surface of the bone and most often occur in the forefoot.
Causes of Fractures
Of course some causes of fractures are obvious: accidents or traumatic injuries. But some bone breaks are the result of incidents you don’t immediately connect to the fracture, such as a jump from a high place, dropping a heavy object on your foot or twisting your ankle badly enough to snap a bone. In the case of stress fractures, overuse or repetitive motion on the same part of the foot is often the cause. Stress fractures are common among athletes.
Signs and Treatment of Fractures
In instances where the fracture is not immediately apparent, you may notice swelling and bruising of the affected area. There will most likely be a fair amount of pain and it will also be sensitive to touch. You may have difficulty bearing weight on the foot where the break is but there are many cases of people being able to walk on a broken foot so don’t use this as a determining factor.
If you suspect you may have broken a bone, you should follow the RICE protocol—that is Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate the fractured foot until you can get in to see our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh. Digital x-rays (which can be done in either our Edmond or Norman office) and an examination of the foot or ankle will determine the best treatment. The foot doctor will most likely want to immobilize the fractured foot with a boot or cast for a period of time. Surgery, physical therapy and other modes of treatment may also be necessary.
The best outcome for a fracture will occur if it is treated promptly. If you think it’s possible that you have fractured a bone in your foot or ankle, don’t delay, contact us today at (405) 285-7408.