Sticks and stones aren’t the only thing that can break bones. In fact, there are lots of different reasons bones in the feet and ankles might break. Sure, traumatic injuries are a common culprit—think dropping something on your toe, severely twisting an ankle, a high fall or auto accident that fractures a heel bone, etc.—but sometimes even repetitive forces over time can cause bones to wear down and crack. Conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis can significantly weaken bones to the breaking point, too.
The experts at Family Foot & Ankle Center in Cincinnati understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to healing a broken bone. Every case demands a careful evaluation and a unique approach, and treatment will be tailored based on the location and severity of the injury, as well as the personal needs and goals of the patient.
For something simple like stress fractures, in which bones are partially cracked but not broken through or displaced, rest, patience, and about two months’ worth of time may be the only treatment needed in certain circumstances, along with a decent pair of shoes that provides the cushioning you need.
For stress fractures in trickier spots (such as along the fifth metatarsal bone) or breaks that are not displaced and relatively stable, immobilization without surgery might be best. We’ll fit you with an appropriate cast or walking boot and provide instructions on when you can start to place weight on the foot again.
Sometimes a displaced fracture can be realigned without surgery, a process called reduction. This is often the case with broken toes. We’ll of course provide you with the necessary anesthesia before we manipulate bones back into their proper position.
Fractures that are more severe or complicated often require surgery. This is frequently the case when bones are displaced, unstable, or have fragmented into multiple small pieces. Internal fixation devices, such as metal plates or screws, may be necessary to hold the surgically repaired foot or ankle in place during the course of healing.
It’s important to note that, although we have a team of excellent surgeons, we’ll never try to push you into a surgery you don’t need—we pride ourselves on thoroughly reviewing all the options, exhausting conservative care first, and selecting a procedure (or combination of procedures) that makes the most sense for you personally.
To learn more about your care options, or address a broken foot, please give us a call right away for an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati offices. You can reach us at 888-689-3317, or request an appointment online.