San Juan Foot & Ankle Center

Podiatry & Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Montrose, CO & Delta, CO

Feet and ankles contain many bones that may suffer fractures, the most commonly affected being the ankle, toes, and metatarsals, which are the bones behind your toes. Ankle and foot fractures can cause long-term problems if left untreated, so it’s essential to seek medical advice from a specialist foot and ankle clinic, such as the San Juan Foot and Ankle Center in Montrose and Delta, Colorado. Podiatrist Christopher O. Cook, DPM, FACFAS, has many years of experience and considerable expertise in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle fractures. If you’ve injured your foot or ankle, have experts assess it to make sure you receive the correct treatment, whatever the cause. Call the San Juan Foot and Ankle Center today, or book an appointment online.

Fractures Q & A

What is a fracture?

Fractures are breaks in bones, ranging from less serious injuries where small pieces of bone are pulled off to complete shattering of the bone. Ankle fractures often happen when ankles roll too far inwards or outwards in much the same way as sprains occur, but treatment methods for fractures are different from sprain treatments, so it’s best to get an early and accurate diagnosis.

Fractures can be acute, where the bone breaks as a result of an injury, or bones can break following repeated overloading when the damage is a result of stress on the bones. These stress fractures are tiny hairline breaks that often affect athletes when they increase their running mileage too rapidly. Abnormal foot structure, deformities, osteoporosis, and inappropriate footwear can also lead to fractures.

What are the symptoms of fractures in feet and ankles?

If you’ve broken any bones in your feet or ankles, you may experience any one of these symptoms, or all of them:

  • Pain at the injury site, which can be severe
  • Noticeable swelling, either at the injury site or along the length of your leg
  • Blisters at the site of the injury
  • Bruising that appears soon after the injury takes place
  • Difficulty walking, and often an inability to put weight on the affected limb
  • The affected foot looks different to the unaffected foot

If there’s bone sticking through the skin, emergency care is required because of the risk of infection and delayed recovery.

If you’ve got a stress fracture in your foot, you may experience:

  • Pain during or after regular activity
  • Pain that eases when you rest, but gets worse when you start moving again
  • Pain when you touch the fracture site
  • Swelling without the accompanying bruising seen in acute fractures

Should I go to the emergency room or see a specialist?

Following a painful injury to your foot, you’ll probably be assessed at the emergency room and receive immediate care and pain relief. However, the foot and ankle are complex structures and evaluation by a specialist foot and ankle surgeon ensures you receive an accurate diagnosis and the highest quality treatment for your injury.

When you visit San Juan Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Cook examines your foot and ask you how the injury occurred. He’ll also order X-rays or use other diagnostic imaging techniques to see the extent of the damage in detail.

What is the treatment for foot and ankle fractures?

In the early stages, foot and ankle specialists recommend following the RICE procedure:

  • Rest: Don’t walk or put weight on the injured limb as doing so could make things worse
  • Ice: Apply ice packs to the injury for 20 minutes, repeating after 40 minutes
  • Compression: Use an elasticized  wrap to prevent swelling, but don’t apply too tightly as you don’t want to cut off the circulation
  • Elevation: Raise the injured limb above heart level to reduce the swelling

Pain medication and anti-inflammatories help ease pain and discomfort after a fracture, and many fractures are treated using splints or casts that immobilize the foot, giving it time to heal naturally. However, some types of fractures need surgery to repair the bone and soft tissues. At San Juan Foot and Ankle Center, Drs. Cook and Kyle perform operations on-site in the outpatient clinic, where you can be sure of receiving the highest standard of care. Call the clinic today or book an appointment online.

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