A fracture to your foot or ankle can happen suddenly or develop over time. Treatment is determined by the type of fracture.
Types of Foot and Ankle Fractures
There are several types of foot and ankle fractures. The most common are:
- Stress fracture. A stress fracture is a thin crack that happens in the tissue of the bone. It does not crack the entire way through the bone and is often caused by repetitive overuse and high-impact activities. Stress fractures happen over time. This type is also called a hairline break.
- Displaced fracture. A displaced fracture happens when the end of the broken piece of bone is no longer correctly in line with the other side of the bone. The ends are displaced from the normal position. An indication of a displaced fracture is a protrusion where one of the ends is located. This type is also called an open or compound fracture.
- Non-displaced fracture. A non-displaced fracture happens when the bone in your ankle or foot has completely broken. Unlike a displaced fracture, the bones in a non-displaced fracture are still in line. An indication of a non-displaced fracture is the inability to bear weight on the foot or ankle in question. This type is also called a simple fracture.
- Comminuted fracture. A comminuted fracture happens when the bones of the foot or ankle are shattered into three or more pieces. This type of fracture occurs from extreme force such as an automobile accident or a high-impact type of trauma.
Diagnosing a Fracture
If you have injured your foot or ankle, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Your podiatrist will examine your foot or ankle to determine what type of trauma has happened. Diagnosis can be done using imaging tests such as an X-ray to determine the location and type of fracture.
The treatment used for the fracture will depend on the type of fracture that you have experienced. Many fractures can be aligned and then your foot or ankle will be placed in a walking boot or cast. You may have your regular activities restricted and may be limited on bearing weight on your foot or ankle. For more severe fractures, surgery may be needed to repair the broken bones and hold them together using screws and plates. In addition, you may also need physical therapy to regain strength and movement to your foot or ankle.
Contact Us With Questions
If you experiencing foot or ankle pain, Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry can help. We offer a free initial consultation and can create a customized plan to address your concerns. To set up an appointment, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET.