There are 26 bones in your foot, and any of them can fracture and leave you hobbled. And while each fracture will be unique to the individual, the course of treatment for a broken foot is relatively standard. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the common treatment course for a broken foot.
Broken Foot Treatment
You might assume that a broken toe will be treated much differently than a heel fracture, but you may be surprised how similar treatment is for foot fractures, especially if you’re dealing with a non-displaced fracture. As the name implies, a non-displaced fracture is one in which the bones do not shift greatly out of place at the fracture site. In other words, the bones are still aligned and should heal back together without any surgical intervention. Displaced fractures occur when the bones fracture in such a way that it is unlikely they will reform correctly without an operation.
We’ll cover the standard treatment pattern for both types of fractures below. Here’s how you can expect to treat your broken foot.
1. Visit A Foot Specialist – If you believe that you have suffered a foot fracture, your first step should be to get off your feet and set up an appointment with a foot specialist. That can be Dr. Silverman, an emergency room doctor or your primary care specialist, depending on your needs and their availability. This licensed medical care is imperative because the specialist will be able to use imaging tests and other diagnostic procedures to help figure out exactly what’s going on in your foot. This can help you figure out where the fracture is or rule out other types of fractures. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step in treatment.
2. Rest/Foot Protection – The next most common step in treating a foot fracture is to rest the injured foot and keep it protected from additional stress. Sometimes you can do this without any special medical equipment, other times you’ll be given crutches, a walking boot or another limited weight-bearing device. Either way, you’ll be told to rest the foot and refrain from putting full pressure on it as swelling subsides and healing begins.
3. Ice and Elevate – Another helpful treatment technique is to elevate your foot and ice the area a couple of times each day. These two things will help to decrease swelling in the area, which will allow blood to flow more easily to and from the foot. This healthy blood will help to speed up the healing process, so you’ll want to use these two techniques to help control swelling after your injury.
4. Medication – You may be prescribed painkillers or an anti-inflammatory medication from your physician to help with discomfort or inflammation after your fracture. Take these medications as advised.
5. Physical Therapy – In many instances, physical therapy is prescribed as you work your way back from a foot fracture. This will help ensure you regain range of motion and strength in the affected area, especially if you have been limited weight bearing for some time. These muscles can atrophy, and if you don’t work to help your foot heal, you could be at risk for another injury. Physical therapy, or at a minimum some stretching exercises, are common as patients work their way back from a foot fracture.
After a couple weeks or months, you should be back to normal if you follow this course of treatment. This is true even if you have a displaced fracture that requires surgery, because treatment is essentially the same once the fracture has been surgically addressed. For more information or for help with your foot injury, reach out to Dr. Silverman and the team at Silverman Ankle & Foot today at (952) 224-8500.