Trauma / Injury
A broken foot can either refer to a fracture or a straight break. The location of any break can tell you how the break happened. Toes, for instance, break typically as a result of something being kicked hard and with great force. Heel breaks almost always are a result of an improper landing from a tall height. Twists or sprains are the other two frequent occurrences. Most broken bones of the feet are the result from unexpected accident or sudden injury. As with stress fractures, which occur as a process over time from repeated stress on a weak area of bone. Runners, dancers, and gymnasts are the usual athletes who receive this type of break. Stress fractures result from significant pressure on the feet. Sometimes stress fractures are a sign of osteoporosis.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and redness are all indicative of the typical symptoms from a broken foot. Severe pain—to the point of not being able to walk—usually depends on the location of the break in the foot. As the severity of the broken foot increases, symptoms like blueness, numbness, misshaping of the foot, cuts, or deformities will become apparent. These symptoms indicate the need to see a medical professional for quick assessment and xrays. Compartment syndrome is a severe form of injury where there can be damage to muscle and nerves and can cause permanent damage.
Prior to seeing a specialist, precautions should be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Elevate and stabilize the foot, and refrain from moving it. Immobilization of the foot is the next priority, so creating a homemade splint is acceptable. Keep in mind that while creating a splint, any increase of pain or cutting off blood circulation means that the splint should be removed immediately. Use ice to decrease swelling and relieve pain symptoms.
When dealing with a medical center, the patient should note that the treatment can vary. The treatment will depend on the severity of the fracture and the cause of the break. Crutches, splits, or casts are common treatments while surgery may be necessary if there is joint involvement or bad alignment. A specialist is always advised.
Broken ankles are a serious injury that can lead to an inability to walk, function, and cause a significant amount of pain. A broken ankle is a break in one of the three bones in your body that connect at the ankle joint, the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The tibia and fibula are your two primary leg bones that connect at the knee, which sits directly upon the talus bone. This is protected by a fibrous membrane that allows for movement in our ankle joint. A broken ankle is usually caused by the foot rolling under or twisting too far, causing one of these three bones to snap.
A broken ankle is different from an ankle sprain, which occurs when the ligaments are ripped or torn but no bones have been broken. A sprain can still be very severe, causing bruising in the foot and an inability to hold your own weight, much like a broken ankle would. If you’re unable to stand, and suspect that you have a broken ankle, the first thing to do would be to get an immediate x-ray to determine the severity of the break.
A common cause of broken ankles is when the ankle is rolled over with enough pressure to break the bones. This usually happens during exercise, sports, or other physical activities. Another common cause is a fall or jump from a tall height or motor vehicle accident.
One immediate treatment for pain relief is elevating the feet above your head to reduce blood flow to the injured area. You can also apply ice packs to your ankles to help reduce swelling, redness, inflammation, and pain. After these initial steps, getting a cast and staying off your feet as much as possible will aid in the recovery of the broken ankle. The less movement and stress the ankle has to endure, the more complete it will heal. A doctor can determine if surgery is needed in order to heal correctly. In these cases, an operation may be the only option to ensure the ability to walk properly again, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation. Not all fractures are treated the same.
It is highly important to determine if surgery is needed early on, because a broken ankle can become much more severe than you realize. If not professionally treated, the broken ankle will inhibit your walking, daily functioning, and produce a large amount of pain. Treating your broken ankle early on will help prevent further damage to it. Also, with Dr. Bregman who has special training in nerve injuries, these are often missed by many doctors but need to be evaluated.
At Bregman Foot-Ankle & Nerve Center we have on site x-ray and the ability to put on a cast or splint in office. We also have on site Utrasound and laser to help you get the best treatment.
Tendon Ruptures (Achilles)
The Achilles tendon is the most common tendon ruptured and Dr. Bregman uses the best treatment options for all levels of patients. Athletes need special care and treatment while the “regular” patient’s may not need as much as a demanding athlete. Many cases do not need surgery but when they do Dr. Bregman can usually use a minimal surgical approach to provide the best and fastest recovery (Link to video). Dr. Bregman himself ruptured his Achilles so he knows about the recovery process and the best options for you. Using stem cells or similar really helps the recovery process.