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How A Podiatrist Diagnoses And Treats Foot Fractures

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How A Podiatrist Diagnoses And Treats Foot Fractures

From minor cracks in the bone to clean breaks, foot fractures are some of the most common injuries diagnosed and treated by podiatrists. 

Regardless of the severity of your foot injury, visiting a podiatrist or a foot doctor is generally good practice. A professional can determine if it is fractured and accurately diagnose the extent of your fracture to come up with a personalized treatment plan and ensure that your bones can heal the right way. 

Foot fractures are a specialty at To Healthy Feet Podiatry. Our NYC foot doctors have the expertise to carry out a wide range of treatment options, ensuring the best care possible regardless of your lifestyle and budget. Drop by at our Manhattan office today to meet your podiatrist! 

Diagnosing Your Foot Fracture

Because foot fractures come in varying degrees of severity, confirming the extent of the injury is essential for good treatment. 

The golden standard in evaluating foot fractures is the x-ray, which allows the podiatrist to see which bones are broken and the scale of the damage. If your foot doctor suspects a fracture but cannot confirm it with an x-ray, they may use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to support the diagnosis. 

Types Of Foot Fractures 

Foot fractures come in 2 types: stress fractures and acute fractures. 

Stress fractures are the less severe of the two and are characterized by tiny breaks in the bone. Unlike acute fractures, stress fractures usually result from wear and tear or a calcium deficiency.

Symptoms of stress fractures include pain and swelling. Given these symptoms are shared by many other foot injuries, accurate diagnosis is crucial. If the injury is not allowed to heal, the fracture may devolve into a complete break.

The more alarming acute fracture indicates a clean break in a metatarsal, one of the 5 bones that connect the ankle and the toes. Usually caused by a sudden blow or twisting motion in the foot, an acute fracture can be recognized by the sound of the bone breaking followed by searing pain.

Treating Your Foot Fracture

Your treatment depends on whether you are diagnosed with a stress fracture or an acute fracture. 

The first step to treating a stress fracture is to put a stop to all physical activities that may exacerbate it. Runners, for instance, are advised to stop running immediately. Cessation of intense physical activities is especially important because patients often feel they can endure the discomfort. 

Depending on the severity of your stress fracture, you may need to wear an orthotic shoe, a walking boot, or a cast. These treatment options aim to minimize the load on your injured foot or immobilize it altogether, allowing your bones to mend properly. 

Resting your foot in an elevated position with ice completes the treatment. A stress fracture may take 4 weeks or more to heal. 

Acute fractures usually require a cast to heal. If the broken bones are not aligned, you may even need surgery. The procedure involves making an incision in the injured foot, realigning the bones, and stabilizing them with pins, wires, screws, or plates. Your foot is then placed in a cast for the next 4 to 12 weeks. 

During the recovery process, your foot doctor will also carefully inspect your injury at regular intervals to ensure it is healing properly. You may also be referred to a physical therapist to slowly help you ease into light forms of physical activities without interrupting your body’s healing. The most severe cases of acute fractures may take up to a year to completely heal. 

See A Podiatrist For Your Foot Fracture 

No matter the extent of your injury, a foot fracture is always worth a visit to the podiatrist. Even microfractures can worsen into a clean break if left untreated. 

Using medical imaging techniques like x-rays and MRIs, a podiatrist can quickly determine the nature of your fracture and prepare an appropriate treatment to address it一whether through a combination of rest and orthotics or surgery. All treatment options aim to isolate your injured foot so that the bones can heal in a controlled and aligned fashion. 

Do you suspect you have a fractured foot? Begin your treatment at To Healthy Feet Podiatry. Our foot doctors in Manhattan possess deep practical knowledge about all kinds of foot injuries, making our clinic one of the best at treating foot fractures in NYC. Call us today at 917-398-3668 or fill out the online contact form to schedule an appointment.

FAQs

Q: Will my foot fracture require surgery?
A: Your foot fracture may require surgery to heal if the bone is out of place. If left to heal by itself, your bone may become misaligned and cause other complications in the future. Surgery involves realigning your bone so that it heals properly. 

Q: What are the symptoms of a foot fracture?
A: Symptoms of a stress fracture include periodical pain and swelling, especially after intense exercise. Symptoms of an acute fracture include sharp pain in the foot immediately following a blow or twisting motion. 

Q: Which bones in the foot are the most likely to suffer a fracture?
A: Your metatarsals, the long bones that connect the toes with the ankle, are the most vulnerable to fractures.  

 

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