Foot and ankle fractures are among the hardest injuries to live with because they directly affect your mobility. At Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons understand the challenges that you face with a foot or ankle fracture, and they can help clear the path to recovery. Learn more about treatment options by calling the office or using the provided online scheduling link.
The most common cause of foot fractures is repetitive activity. This leads to small cracks in the bones, called stress fractures.
Trauma is another cause of foot fractures. The midfoot bones may break from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot. The hindfoot bones only break with extreme force.
Ankle fractures are common among athletes and people who work in physical professions. Ankle fractures can also occur as a result of other injuries, such as a trip and fall.
The most common symptoms of foot and ankle fractures include:
Foot fracture symptoms usually include pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, abnormal foot changes, and inability to bear weight.
Ankle fracture symptoms commonly include immediate swelling and pain along with the inability to bear weight or walk. Some people experience hemarthrosis, when an artery bleeds into the joint.
Severe ankle fractures can cause bone deformity, in which the bone may be close to the skin surface or even break through the skin.
With both types of fractures, symptoms commonly start immediately after the injury.
Diagnosis involves a physical exam and medical history review. You may need imaging tests, including X-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans, to verify a foot or ankle fracture. If your doctor suspects complex ligament damage, you may need an MRI.
These tests can help your surgeon to determine the specific type of foot or ankle fracture and whether you have additional injuries like sprains or strains.
Treatment varies with fracture type and location. For mild fractures, nonsurgical treatment including rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is the first approach. Your surgeon may place a splint or cast on your foot or ankle to maintain stability as you heal.
More serious fractures typically require surgery. During surgery, your doctor can realign, rebuild, or fuse joints. In some cases, the reconstruction process involves placing internal plates or screws to stabilize the bone as it heals.
Physical therapy can be helpful for both nonsurgical and surgical fracture treatment because it strengthens your foot or ankle and helps you recover faster. But it’s important to return to weight-bearing activities gradually, using a walking boot or cane, as directed by your doctor.
With foot and ankle fractures, fast treatment is the best way to enjoy a fast recovery. Call Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa or click the provided link for help with fractures now.