The human foot is a strong and intricate network that contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments – leaving this complex structure at a higher risk for fractures. Foot fractures are considered to be the most common foot injuries to treat – they have a wide range of types, with the most common being stress fractures.
Learn more about the different types of foot fractures, the symptoms you may experience, and how Comprehensive Foot Specialists in Huntington, NY, diagnoses and treats a variety of foot fractures on a daily basis.
A fracture is a bone break that is very common for people of any age. Foot fractures can occur as a result of a physical accident (such as dropping a heavy object on the foot), or from overuse or repetitive stress from partaking in high impact sports, such as running, tennis, or basketball. The most common symptoms associated with a foot fracture are pain and swelling, as well as bruising or discoloration of the foot and pain while walking and weight-bearing.
A stress fracture is an overuse injury, and is defined as a minuscule crack or extreme bruising of the foot bone. Stress fractures frequently occur among athletes, especially for runners. A stress fracture’s most common symptom is pain during physical activity, with the pain diminishing during periods of rest.
A non-displaced fracture is when the bone cracks partially or completely, but still maintains its proper alignment.
A displaced fracture is when the bone moves out of alignment after a break. When the bone breaks, two or more parts move, resulting in the misalignment of the two ends.
An open fracture, also referred to as a compound fracture, is when the skin breaks over the fracture. This is a very serious injury, as it has the potential for infection of the broken bone and damage to the soft tissue surrounding it. Open fractures should be addressed immediately by a doctor for the smoothest possible treatment process
A closed fracture occurs when the bone breaks, but there is no puncture or break through the skin.
Fractures have a large number of causes, including:
On a daily basis, the feet support the weight of the body, which causes a substantial amount of pressure and stress. When there is too much strain placed on this area, a fracture can occur – commonly while running, exercising, or during any form of physical activity. A foot fracture can also occur when there is any form of sudden, high impact contact with the foot, such as during an accident or injury. In addition, medical conditions, such as arthritis or cancer, can cause the bones to weaken, resulting in a higher risk for foot fractures.
A foot fracture will be diagnosed during a physical exam, with the doctor reviewing the patient’s symptoms while pressing the foot gently to locate the source of pain, as well as discussing the circumstances that led to the fracture. It is likely for the doctor to order additional imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to accurately determine what type of bone fracture is present and its precise location in the foot.
Treatment for fractures depends on the extent and location of the fracture in the foot. Fractures that remain in anatomic position usually require only off-loading and supportive walking shoes/boots to allow for bony healing and apposition. When the fracture is displaced, oftentimes reduction and/or surgery is required. Reduction of a fracture is performed in the office or hospital. Regularly, fractures will remain in place once reduced, however, at times they will require additional fixation with pins and/or screws. This will require surgical intervention, and often post-surgical casting and off-loading.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, we are experts in treating and healing a variety of foot fractures, including stress, non-displaced, displaced, open, and closed fractures, and more. Our office is conveniently located in Huntington, NY, where you will receive the best quality podiatric care from our highly qualified team. To learn more about the services we offer and to make your appointment, please contact us today.
At Comprehensive Foot Specialists, our expert physicians are dedicated to treating a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions so you can live comfortably, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more!Book an Appointment