• 925 Clifton Ave, Ste. 107 Clifton, NJ 07013

Foot & Ankle Fractures

Fractures of your foot or ankle can disable you, causing pain with every step. Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ is an expert at identifying and treating all kinds of foot fractures, from tiny stress fractures to a larger hairline fracture. When you’re in pain, it’s time to get out of the game. Continued play can cause a worse break. Instead, call on the foot doctor in northern New Jersey for the best treatment.

Stress fractures involve small cracks or bruising along a bone or within the bone itself. Foot and ankle fractures are common, as all it takes is landing awkwardly for an injury to occur. The thin, long bones of your second and third metatarsals — two bones in the center of your foot — deal with the greatest amount of force.

The weight-bearing bones of your feet and ankles are susceptible to fracture due to the constant, repetitive forces of walking, jumping and running. A foot fracture can occur in your heel bone, called the calcaneus, or in the bone at the top of your midfoot, the navicular. Ankle fractures may occur in the outer bone of your ankle, the fibula, or in the small bone in the ankle joint, the talus. With a fracture, you can experience:

Fractures Can Get Worse

Most fractures are caused by repetitive motions and overuse, such as athletic activities. Stress fractures take a longer time to heal. If you don’t stay off the stress fracture, you’ll suffer a complete fracture or break.

As soon as you’ve fractured your foot or ankle — or when you feel the pain — call on the foot pain professionals at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey. Don’t give your pain a chance to get worse. Dr. Velimir Petkov and his staff have the equipment and training to correctly diagnose your fracture and provide the most appropriate foot fracture treatment.

Risk Factors for Foot and Ankle Fractures

While anyone can suffer a stress fracture, you may be at a greater risk if you:

  • Are overweight, as the extra pounds place additional stress on the small bones of your feet
  • Are a runner and tend to run on hard surfaces
  • Wear worn or inadequate shoes when you run
  • Are an athlete who tries new exercises or suddenly increases the intensity of your workouts
  • Play sports on the weekend without any other exercise
  • Train too intensely or frequently to allow any microscopic bone damage to heal properly
  • Have a concurrent condition, such as diabetes or osteoporosis, that weakens your bones
  • Take certain long-term medications that decrease bone strength
  • Are a woman who battles eating disorders, dysfunctional menstruation or early onset osteoporosis

Seek foot fracture treatment if you experience pain, especially if it develops gradually and worsens when you place weight on your foot and lessens when you rest. If you experience swelling, bruising, tenderness or pain that increases throughout the day, your New Jersey podiatrist has treatments to help you heal.

How to Treat a Fractured Foot

Get medical help to recover from a fracture while you still can walk. Dr. Petkov gives you a thorough examination, including imaging tests like a digital x-ray or ultrasound, if necessary. Then your northern NJ podiatrist may suggest:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce your pain and swelling
  • Continued modified activity to allow your foot to regenerate bone mass
  • Crutches to eliminate the weight you place on the injured foot or ankle
  • A cast, especially if you need stress fracture foot treatment, as they take longer to heal
  • Protective shoes or specialized boots to provide protection and extra support

If your stress foot fracture resists healing or worsens, you may require minimally invasive foot surgery. A surgical intervention called internal fixation is used only for severe cases. Your podiatrist places screws, pins or plates to support your bone and encourage proper healing.

Recovering from a Fracture

Dr. Petkov may recommend some at-home therapies as the best treatment for a hairline fracture in your foot. The primary way to reduce your symptoms is with the R.I.C.E. method:

  • Rest and avoid high-impact activities that aggravate your foot fracture and could make it worse.
  • Ice your injury for about 20 minutes, several times a day.
  • Compress your ankle and foot with elastic bandages or ankle supports to give it extra stability.
  • Elevate your foot and ankle whenever possible to reduce swelling and promote healthy blood flow.

Fractures Q & A

What causes a foot or ankle fracture?

Breaking a bone — no matter where it is in your body — can be one of the most painful and overwhelming injuries you ever have. You may hear or feel that sudden “snap” or “pop,” indicating a broken bone if you:

  • Trip and fall
  • Get into an auto accident
  • Miss a step on a flight of stairs
  • Have something heavy land on your foot

Bone fractures even occur from overuse, which is a stress fracture. These types of bone injuries often happen in weight-bearing areas, such as your feet and ankles. Stress fractures start out as tiny cracks that can worsen over time with repetitive motions or force.

In some cases, though, you might be more prone to having fractures, especially stress fractures, if you have weakened bones, possibly from osteoporosis.

What are the symptoms of a foot or ankle fracture?

Foot and ankle fractures sometimes have obvious symptoms. For instance, if you have a bony bump where it seems as though bone is poking through your skin, you might be able to tell right away that you have a fracture.

The signs and symptoms of foot and ankle fractures aren’t always that obvious, however. Fractures can also lead to:

  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot
  • Bruising, swelling, or tenderness
  • Throbbing or stabbing pain

You might even find that your pain gets worse with activity, then gradually starts to subside as you rest and elevate your foot. Because your fracture is probably only going to worsen without proper treatment, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Petkov at Premier Podiatry as soon as your injury occurs.

How are foot or ankle fractures treated?

Your foot or ankle fracture treatment plan just depends on the severity of your injury. Dr. Petkov generally gets digital X-ray images right in the office and performs a comprehensive evaluation. Once he better understands the severity of your foot or ankle fracture, he can design your treatment plan, which may include:

  • Wrapping, bracing or splinting
  • Reduction procedure to realign bones
  • Anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers

You could need surgery for a severe fracture. Dr. Petkov can implant screws, plates, or pins to help your bones stay in proper alignment during your healing process. No matter which type of treatment is right for you, Dr. Petkov may suggest physical therapy after you’re healed, to help rebuild your strength and prevent reinjury.

Most foot fracture treatment requires six to eight weeks to fully heal. More severe fractures take longer. Don’t return to high-impact activities too soon, as this can lead to more severe fractures, breaks and other serious conditions. After your foot and ankle stress fracture heals, return to activity gradually, allowing your foot muscles and bones to reacclimate to weight-bearing and repetitive motions. When you’re ready for expert advice and treatment for a foot or ankle fracture, contact Premier Podiatry.

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