Traumatic foot and ankle injuries can happen anywhere at anytime. Even if you think an injury appears to be minor, it is important to have it evaluated by an orthopedic expert. At EmergeOrtho, our fellowship-trained foot and ankle specialists have the experience necessary to diagnose and treat a number of foot and ankle injuries and conditions.
Whether you have a broken and dislocated ankle, sprained ankle, or fractured foot, our EmergeOrtho board-certified physicians are specifically trained to address a range of musculoskeletal injuries, conditions, and diseases.
Do You Have a Broken or Fractured Ankle/Foot?
Ankle injuries are some of the most common type of sports-related injuries. From a broken or sprained ankle to a fracture-dislocation, EmergeOrtho offers innovative, state-of-the-art orthopedic care to ensure a safe and rapid recovery.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a fracture, break, and dislocation? Essentially, fractures are the same thing as a broken bone.
A broken ankle typically occurs as the result of twisting or rolling the ankle, falling, or a more serious accident. If the bones comprising the ankle are unstable or dislocated, surgery may be required to reposition bone fragments, holding them together with screws and plates. Physical therapy is also a vital component of a successful recovery.
A fracture in the foot or ankle generally yields symptoms such as:
There are several different types of fractures of the foot and ankle. Typically, fractures are classified by where the injury is located. Take a look:
- Lisfranc Fracture
A Lisfranc injury occurs when broken bones or torn ligaments occur in the midfoot from a twist, fall, or more severe incident. The midfoot is most important in stabilizing the arch of the foot and for walking. As a serious type of fracture, surgical intervention is often required to realign joints and repair broken bones. These injuries may be missed if specific tests are not performed, causing long-term issues, so it is very important to have a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist evaluate midfoot injuries.
- Stress Fracture
Overuse of bones or repetitive force on a bone can result in a stress fracture. Tiny cracks in the bone cause pain and swelling, especially with activity. Conservative treatment such as pain medications, walking assistance, or a cast can typically allow the bone to heal on its own. While uncommon, sometimes a stress fracture requires surgery to remove damaged bone. A surgeon places pins, screws, or plates in the foot to repair the fracture.
- Metatarsal Fractures
When the bones between the ankle and toe are fractured, the injury is diagnosed as a metatarsal fracture. Since these bones bear much of our weight, a fracture of this kind can have a huge impact on day-to-day life. Often, these fractures are caused by trauma or a severe impact on the bone. When the fifth metatarsal is fractured, it may be a specific type of injury called a “Jones fracture,” which may even require surgery to help it heal.To determine what type of fracture you have, EmergeOrtho’s subspecialty orthopedic doctors utilize sophisticated approaches and technology for precision diagnosis. In addition to a physical exam, your orthopedic specialist may also order X-rays, a CT scan, or MRI. Once a fracture is diagnosed, a personalized treatment plan will be established.
Do You Have a Dislocated Ankle?
A dislocation occurs when the bones of a joint separate as the result of trauma. A broken and dislocated ankle is more common than a dislocation that occurs without an associated fracture.
When a dislocation happens symptoms can include:
- Weight-bearing difficulty
- Open fracture (the bone emerges from the skin)
- Soreness (to the touch)
Depending on the severity of an ankle dislocation, an orthopedic doctor may treat mild injuries with conservative treatment methods. If, however, the dislocation is accompanied by a fracture or multiple fractures and is moderate to severe, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Typically, if non-operative treatment methods such as immobilization with a cast or boot and physiotherapy are applied, a six to twelve-week recovery can be expected.
Other Injuries of the Foot and Ankle
Unfortunately, there are many other injuries and conditions that affect the foot and ankle. The good news is that our EmergeOrtho physicians and surgeons have the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to address them!
Comprehensive EmergeOrtho foot and ankle injuries and conditions we treat include:
- Soft tissue injuries and tears
- Ruptured, torn, or badly sprained ligaments
In addition to the previously mentioned symptoms of ankle and foot fractures and ankle dislocations, other common symptoms of a foot or ankle injury include:
- Pain that extends beyond the injury site to the entire foot, leg, or knee
- Bruising that covers an extensive area following the injury
- Mobility challenges, making it difficult or impossible to walk
- Appearance changes—the injured foot or ankle looks different from the healthy, unharmed foot/ankle
If you can see the bone protruding through the skin, you should get immediate medical attention.
Treatment for Foot and Ankle Trauma
As mentioned earlier, the type of treatment received for an ankle injury depends upon the scope and severity of the diagnosed condition.
Nonsurgical treatments for foot and ankle injuries may include:
- RICE Method
Rest, ice, compression and elevation to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Activity Restriction
Avoiding activities, even walking during the initial phase of healing to prevent further injury.
A brace, cast, or splint may be recommended to properly stabilize and support the injured area.
Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter medications for pain relief (such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage symptoms.
Surgery may be needed to repair fractures and severe injuries to soft tissue. Our foot and ankle surgeons will work closely with you to determine the best course of treatment.
When surgical solutions are the only answer, you want the most experienced, knowledgeable team in your corner. Not only do we have board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians, but we are also dedicated to treating patients with the highest levels of compassion and dignity.
If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury, request an appointment now.