If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right.Switch to Accessible Site

Blog

Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

What to Know About a Broken Toe

The forefoot is composed of five metatarsal bones and fourteen phalanges. Each toe has three phalanges except for the big toe which only has two. Our toes play an essential role to the walking process, which is why a broken toe could seriously disrupt one’s ability to move around. Toe fractures are common and can be very painful. Fortunately, these injuries rarely require surgery and usually heal with rest and a change in activity.

Broken toes typically result from a traumatic event such as falling, stubbing the toe, or dropping something on the toe. Traumatic toe fractures may be categorized as either minor or severe fractures. At times, one may hear a “pop” or “crack” sound when the bone breaks. Common symptoms of a traumatic toe fracture include pain, throbbing, bruising, swelling, and redness.

Another type of toe fractures is a stress fracture. These injuries usually appear in the form of small hairline breaks on the bone. Stress fractures develop after repetitive activity instead of a single injury. Stress fractures occur when the muscles in the bone become too weak to absorb impact. Consequently, the toe bone becomes vulnerable to any pressure and impact it endures. Symptoms for a stress fracture in the toe include swelling without bruising, tenderness to the touch, pain that goes away with rest, and pain after walking or running.

If you suspect that you have a broken toe, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist. He or she will likely diagnose you by performing a physical exam and an X-ray. Treatment for a broken toe may include the R.I.C.E. method, buddy taping, surgery, or antibiotics. The R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a common treatment method for many injuries because it decreases pain. Buddy tapping involves wrapping the injured toe next to an adjacent toe to keep it supported and protected. These two methods have proven to be effective in the healing process for toe fractures. The estimated healing time for a broken toe is approximately four to six weeks. If the injury becomes infected or requires surgery, the estimated healing time may take eight weeks or more. 

Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of a Broken Toe

The majority of broken toes may occur from stubbing the toe, or if a heavy object is dropped on it.  Many patients suffer from toe stress fractures, which may be a result of consistent impact the toe endures. There are noticeable symptoms of a broken toe, and these may include immediate pain, or a possible cracking sound as the fracture occurs. Additionally, bruising and swelling may accompany this condition, and in more severe cases, the toe may appear deformed. If the break is mild, typical treatment may begin with resting, elevating,and splinting the toe. This is often accomplished by taping the toe to the one next to it, and this may help to provide the support that it needs. Many broken toes may require the expertise of a podiatrist, and this may become evident if the nail falls off, or if the nail bed has become infected. If you have broken your toe, and you are experiencing severe pain, it is suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly assist you with the correct treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Austin, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 04 February 2019 00:00

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. These types of injuries are very common and can occur in people of all ages. Sprains may range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage is done to the ligaments. If a sprain goes untreated, a more severe sprain may occur which can further damage the ankle. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle pain.

There are some risk factors that can increase your risk of suffering a sprained ankle. Those who participate in sports, walk on uneven surfaces, have a prior ankle injury, are in poor physical condition, or wear improper shoes are more likely to get a sprained ankle.

There are a few symptoms to look out for if you suspect you are suffering from a sprained ankle. Some common symptoms are swelling, bruising, tenderness, and instability of the ankle. In cases where the tearing of the ligaments is severe, there may be a “popping” sound when the strain occurs.

The RICE method is proven to be effective in treating ankle sprains. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest is important for treatment especially within the first 24 to 48 hours. You should also ice your sprained ankle for the first 48 hours for 20 minutes at a time. A small piece of cloth should be placed between the ice and the affected area. For the compression step, you should wear a brace that is snug, but not too tight that it cuts off circulation. When choosing a brace, be sure to choose one that is suitable for the type of ankle sprain you have. Lastly, you should elevate your foot above the heart as often as possible.

After you treat a sprain, you should go through rehabilitation to prevent the injury from occurring again. There are three phases to the rehab process. The first phase involves resting, protecting and reducing the swelling of the injury. The second phase consists of restoring the ankles flexibility, range of motion, and strength. The third phase consists of slowly returning to activity and maintenance exercises.

If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult with your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and a suitable treatment option for your condition.

Monday, 04 February 2019 00:00

Handling an Ankle Sprain

Compared to ankle breaks and fractures, sprains are easier to recover from. Most sprains are caused by walking on an uneven surface or participating in sports that involve a lot of side-to-side movement. These two activities may result in the ankle moving in a direction that the joint is not meant to move, therefore resulting in a sprain. Ankles are comprised of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and ligaments. Ligaments are crucial in supporting the ankle and the weight it bears, but when these ligaments are stretched too far, they can tear, which causes a sprain. It is important to remember the acronym RICE when dealing with a sprain. This acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In most cases, over the counter medications should work to alleviate the pain, unless the sprain is severe. After taking care of the initial safety measures at home, then it is time to consult with a medical professional. If you have a sprained ankle, then it is strongly suggested you speak with a podiatrist to ensure that your ankle heals properly.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact Dr. Gary Prant from Arbor Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Austin, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Connect with us