Posted on: 20 January 2017
A foot fracture is a fairly common injury that can happen suddenly due to a fall or accident, or it can happen gradually as a result of stress due to jogging or wearing the wrong kind of shoes. Fractures can be mild and require little care, especially if a toe is involved, or they can be severe enough to require surgery. No matter what kind of fracture you have, one of the best things you can do to help it heal is to keep weight off your foot. Here is a look at some of the treatments your podiatrist may recommend when you have a foot fracture.
Foot Elevation And Ice
When you fracture your foot, you'll probably have a lot of swelling in the area. Swelling can intensify pain, so you'll be more comfortable when you get the swelling under control. Ice is useful for this. Wrap some ice in a t-shirt or towel and apply it to your foot for several minutes at a time. This treatment is especially helpful as soon as the injury happens. Ice reduces blood flow, so it helps stop internal bleeding, which causes bruising and swelling. Ice is also a natural pain reliever, although you want to be careful not to leave the ice on so long it numbs your skin, or you could burn or irritate it.
Elevating your foot higher than the rest of your body also helps reduce swelling because gravity helps drain the fluid from your foot. Try to stretch out in bed while placing your foot on a stack of pillows so your foot is higher than your head. This not only helps reduce swelling, but it also takes pressure off your foot so the bones can begin to knit back together.
Braces And Splints
Depending on which bone is fractured, your doctor may have you wear a brace, splint, or cast on your foot. If it's your toe that's broken, all you may need to do is tape the broken toe to a nearby healthy toe to keep it stabilized. A broken bone in the mid-foot or heel may need a removable brace to help hold the bone in place so it can grow back together. A more serious break could require a cast to keep the broken bone stabilized long enough to heal. Your doctor may recommend you buy a special shoe from a medical supply store for extra support during your recovery. These shoes have flat, hard soles. They are designed this way to stabilize your foot while you are not bearing weight on it. A brace, shoe, or splint could be enough to help you heal, but a bad break might also require surgery. In that case, the doctor puts a pin in the bone before applying the cast or brace.
Crutches Or Knee Walker
It can take weeks or months for a fractured foot to heal, and a great deal of that time is spent keeping weight off your foot. To keep you from being immobile and sedentary, your doctor may fit you with crutches or a knee walker. Both of these allow you to walk around while keeping your broken foot off the ground. If you get crutches, be sure your doctor fits you for the right length and teaches you how to use them so you don't damage the nerves in your arms. A knee walker may be the most convenient choice since you can use it while keeping your hands free. You can rent a knee walker if you don't want to buy one, and it may even be covered by your insurance.
Although it takes a long time for a fractured bone to heal, the worst of the pain should go away in a few days. Even though your foot may feel better, you want to keep weight off of it as long as your doctor instructs, or you may delay the healing process. For more information, contact a podiatrist like Jeffrey M Marks DPM.Share