Fractures of the toe or foot are often very serious and limiting conditions. Fractures are breaks in the continuity of your bone structure, usually as a result of impacts or trauma to the affected area. Fractures are often very painful, and can lead to complications if not properly treated. Those most at risk of fractures are the elderly, as well as those suffering from osteoporosis, bone cancer or calcium deficiency. Those who smoke are also at greater risk, due to the bone-softening properties of nicotine. These fractures come in many different forms, and are classified according to the mechanism (whether it is the result of trauma or a pathological reason such as steroid induced osteoporosis). Further, fractures can either be “closed” or “open”, wherein the bone perforates the surrounding tissue and breaks thru the skin. Finally, fractures can become displaced, in which case the broken ends must be re-aligned.
Toe Fracture Diagnosis
Normally, other than pain, among the first signs of a toe fracture is swelling (but not bruising) in the affected area. This is part of the human body’s natural healing process. Further, a fracture is evidenced by noticeable and sustained pain in the suspected area, as well as spasms in the surrounding musculature as the body attempts to contain the fracture and keep it aligned. This pain may subside after a few hours, so it is inadvisable to assume that lack of pain is an indicator that no fracture has occurred. Fractures are often the result of at least some form of physical trauma, so they are likely to surface after the patient has sustained a significant impact to the area. As part of standard procedure, your podiatrist will likely want to verify the presence of a fracture by as X-ray.
Failure to seek treatment can result in a number of complications. For instance the affected foot can become deformed, or the patient may develop arthritis or chronic pain. As such, it is paramount that you seek prompt and adequate treatment. Sometimes, something as simple as rest is all that’s required to treat a fracture.
If you suspect you may have suffered a fracture in your foot or ankle, contact Podiatry Associates today. Our highly trained, professional and compassionate staff can assist.