While there are a variety of breaks and fractures that can affect the feet and ankles, a condition that more frequently affects younger athletes is known as an avulsion fracture. Characterized by a small piece of bone tearing away with the injury to an overstressed ligament, this type of fracture can affect the hip, elbow and ankle areas. Since young athletes’ bones and ligaments are still undergoing development, they are more susceptible to this problem. While a minor avulsion break can often be treated with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), more severe injuries will require reattachment by a skilled surgeon using pins, screws, or other hardware.
Signs that you may have a fracture in your foot include:
- Often a fracture may occur with a popping or cracking sound
- Swelling, bruising, and tenderness will occur rapidly at the site of the pain
- Inability to bear weight on the affected foot
- Difficulty taking your shoes on or off
- Any obvious protrusion and/or bleeding
Seek medical attention for a proper evaluation if any of the above problems occur. Soft tissue damage and hairline breaks may not be immediately obvious, so it is important to have your foot specialist do imaging studies for an accurate diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Immobilization of the foot with a cast or boot may be necessary for proper healing to occur. After the boot comes off, a regimen of physical therapy exercises will be undertaken to increase strength and flexibility and decrease the chances of a recurrence.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.