Your feet and ankles handle a large amount of pressure and stress every day, making them more susceptible to fractures than other parts of the body. There are a huge number of bones in your feet and ankles and some, like the metatarsal bones of the toes, are actually quite fragile.
Fractures can be categorized as either acute, or stress fractures. Acute fractures exhibit an obvious break caused by an extreme amount of force affecting the bone. Stress fractures occur from repeated pounding on the feet and ankles over time and may exhibit pain intermittently.
6 types of fractures that can affect the feet and ankles include the following. The first five are acute fractures:
- Transverse fracture—This is characterized by a horizontal break.
- Stable fracture—When the bones are only slightly separated, it is more stable and easier to treat.
- Oblique fracture—This is a diagonally occurring fracture.
- Compound fracture—This is one of the most severe types which includes an open break and the bone is protruding through the skin.
- Comminuted fracture—This is also a very severe fracture where the bone has shattered into several or more pieces. Surgery is usually required.
- Stress fractures—Stress or hairline fractures can mimic other foot or ankle conditions, and are therefore often difficult to properly diagnose. Symptoms can radiate from the location of the actual break, and your foot doctor can trace the location using physical manipulation and imaging studies such as x-ray or MRI.
Treatment for fractures can vary considerably. For example, a fractured toe can often be treated by simply taping to the toe next to it to prevent movement while healing occurs. More severe fractures will need casting and may require surgery to properly secure the broken bones.
If you have suffered a fracture to your foot or ankle, stabilize the injury and get to your foot doctor right away to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.