President-Elect Joe Biden’s Doctor on Sunday Said That the Former Vice President Had Sustained a Sprain of His Right Foot After Twisting His Foot While Playing With His Adopted Rescue Dog, Major.
"Initial x-rays are reassuring that there is no obvious fracture and he will be getting an additional CT for more detailed imaging," Dr. Kevin O'Connor said. "Follow-up CT scan confirmed hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden's lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the mid-foot. It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks."
The statement from Dr. O’Connor came a few hours after Biden's team confirmed the injury, saying that the 78-year-old twisted his foot while playing with his dog, Major, and he would be examined by an orthopedist "out of an abundance of caution."
A Biden spokesperson said that arrangements were made by president-elect Biden to "receive an x-ray and then additional CT Sunday afternoon ... to avoid disrupting scheduled appointments on Monday."
Major is one of Joe and Jill Biden's two German Shepherd dogs and will be the first rescue dog to live in the White House. The Bidens adopted him from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018. The Bidens have had their other dog, Champ, since 2008.
So, What Exactly Is a Foot Sprain, and How Does Such a Unique Injury Even Happen?
Below you will find some brief information regarding this injury, how it is diagnosed, and the treatment options available. To complicate matters, Mr. Biden also suffered hairline fractures of two bones in the midfoot which require a longer period of immobilization in a walking boot. However, all indications are good that the president-elect will recover without incident and be ready to take office in January.
What Is a Foot sprain?
A foot sprain is an injury that causes a stretch or tear in one or more ligaments in the foot. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to bones.
How Does It Occur?
A foot sprain occurs by twisting or bending the foot. This can happen if you stumble on an uneven surface, land awkwardly from a jump, or from kicking an object that doesn't move easily.
What Are the Symptoms?
Pain, swelling, and tenderness in the foot. You may have difficulty walking.
How Is It diagnosed?
Your health care provider will review your symptoms, ask how you injured your foot, and examine you. Your provider may want to get an x-ray of your foot. The x-ray will be normal if you have a sprain. A CT scan may be ordered to further evaluate the foot bones or fractures and/or dislocations.
How Is an Ankle Sprain Treated?
Treatment may include:
- Applying ice packs to your foot for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for the first 2 to 3 days or until the pain goes away. Thereafter, icing your foot at least once a day until the other symptoms are gone.
- Elevating your foot by placing a pillow underneath it. Try to keep your foot above the level of your heart.
- Wrapping an elastic bandage around your foot to keep the swelling from getting worse.
- Using crutches until you can walk without pain.
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication or other pain medication prescribed by your provider.
- Doing foot exercises to improve your foot strength and range of motion. The exercises will help you return to your normal activity or sports.
- If bone involvement occurs, such as hairline fractures, then a walking boot will be required for a few weeks to ensure healing of the bones will occur.
When Can I Return to My Sport or Activity After a Foot Sprain?
The goal of rehabilitation is to return you to your sport or activity as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury, which could lead to permanent damage. Everyone recovers from injury at a different rate. Return to your sport or activity will be determined by how soon your foot recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury occurred. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better.
You may safely return to your sport or activity when, starting from the top of the list and progressing to the end, each of the following is true:
- You have a full range of motion in the injured foot compared to the uninjured foot.
- You have the full strength of the injured foot compared to the uninjured foot.
- You can jog straight ahead without pain or limping.
- You can spring straight ahead without pain or limping.
- You can do 45° cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
- You can do a 20-yard figure-of-eight, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
- You can do 90° cuts, first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
- You can do 10-yard figure-of-eight first at half-speed, then at full-speed.
- You can jump on both legs without pain and you can jump on the injured leg without pain.
How Can I Prevent a Foot Sprain?
Unfortunately, most foot sprains occur during accidents that are not preventable. However, it is important to wear proper fitting footwear and to avoid running or playing on uneven surfaces.
We Are Here to Help
If you are struggling with a foot injury, the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are here to help. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your free initial consultation.