Foot and Ankle Injuries
Common foot and ankle injuries may include a broken bone, a dislocation, a sprain, an infection, a cut, or a contusion If you have sustained an injury to the foot or ankle immediate treatment should be sought from a podiatric physician.
When an injury is sustained it is important to know what to do. Common misconceptions prevent many from getting immediate attention for foot or ankle injuries. Some of these include assuming a bone is not broken if it can be moved, not seeking care for a broken toe because nothing can be done for it, simply using an elastic bandage for a sprained ankle, and finally assuming that a fracture, a break, and a crack are all different when in fact they all describe a broken bone. Each of the above should be addressed by a podiatrist immediately.
Minor foot conditions such as blisters, calluses, and cuts are often ignored as a result of the inability to feel and sense pain. Thereby, this loss of sensation can develop into foot infections, ulcers, and possibly result in amputation. The loss of sensation takes away the natural ability for the foot to feel irritation. As a result of unchecked glucose levels, the nerves in the foot are unable to warn the diabetic patient to sense minor injuries leading to infection.
It is imperative that the feet be inspected daily. If a problem is found it should be addressed by your podiatrist immediately to prevent any complications. Diabetic leg and foot problems are the leading reason for diabetes related hospitalizations and diabetes is the leading cause for amputation of the leg and foot.
They can be serious injuries and not taking the proper steps to care for them may result in long term pain, improper healing, and possibly corrective measures needed to fix the improperly healed injury. If an injury has occurred to your foot or ankle remember RICE until you can get to your podiatrist. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest the injured foot or ankle by restricting activities, Ice the injury with a 20 minute on, 40 minute off pattern, lightly wrap the injury with a compression bandage, and finally Elevate the injured foot or ankle to reduce pain and swelling.
If your injury is bleeding, cleanse the area well, apply pressure to stop bleeding if possible, and cover with a clean dressing until you can see your podiatrist. If the bleeding is persistent and can not be stopped go to the emergency room for immediate care.
Any foreign objects in the foot such as a splinter or sliver can be removed however glass or a needle should be removed by a professional.
To prevent foot and ankle injuries a patient should wear the correct shoes for the activity they are participating in, wear supportive boots or shoes when hiking in rough terrain, wear hard top shoes when mowing the lawn, wear shoes at all times outside, clean up spills promptly, and turn the lights on in a dark room.