Foot and Ankle Specialist in Liberty Township
Foot and ankle injuries are an unfortunate fact of life for many people. Broken toes, broken feet, sprains, contusions, dislocations, sprains, infections and other serious injuries can occur at any time. If an injury is sustained, it is important to seek attention immediately. It is also unfortunate that one or more myths have prevailed through the years about foot and ankle injuries. We will attempt to dispel those myths now.
Myth # 1: If you can move your foot or ankle, it’s not broken.
FALSE – This widespread belief keeps breaks and fractures from receiving the proper treatments. Believe it or not, you can walk with certain types of foot and ankle fractures. At the first sign of a fracture or break, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from a Cincinnati podiatrist.
Myth # 2: Breaking your toe is no reason to seek immediate attention.
FALSE – All toe fractures require immediate attention. If the toe is fractured or broken, it may heal incorrectly if not properly set by a Cincinatti podiatrist. A proper X-ray and treatment will help the broken toe heal quickly, usually within seven to ten days. Without treatment, the broken toe may grow at an angle and form painful corns.
Myth # 3: The best treatment for a foot or ankle injury is to immediately soak it in hot water.
FALSE – Heat or hot water should never be used on a suspected foot fracture, sprain or dislocation. Heat promotes greater blood flow, which can contribute to greater swelling. The more an area swells, the more pressure will be put on the nerves, which can lead to even greater pain. Instead of heat, apply an ice bag wrapped in a towel for foot and ankle fracture care. This will contract the blood vessels and numb the area, which will reduce any swelling and pain. As soon as you can, see a Cincinnati podiatrist who may recommend further treatment upon examination.
Myth # 4: If you sprain your ankle, simply apply an elastic bandage and it will heal correctly.
FALSE – A sprained ankle implies that the ligaments are torn or overstretched. When this happens, the only safe recourse is to seek immediate attention by a Cincinnati podiatrist for the sprained ankle. You physician will x-ray the area and immobilize it with a cast or splint. In some cases, physiotherapy or surgery will be used to ensure a normal recovery.
Myth # 5: The terms fracture, break and crack are all different.
FALSE – These terms are all used to describe a broken toe, foot, or ankle bone.
Before Seeing a Podiatrist
If you suffer a foot or ankle injury, remember the acronym RICE before visiting your Cincinnati area podiatrist.
Rest – Restrict your movement and sit with your foot or ankle above your waist to keep from putting any weight on the affected area.
Ice – Place a plastic bag filled with ice and then wrapped in a towel over the affected area for 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off, then repeat.
Compression – Wrap an ACE bandage very lightly around the affected area. Take care not to pull the bandage too tight.
Elevation – Sit in a position that allows you to evaluate your foot or ankle, holding it above your waist. This will effectively reduce swelling and pain.
Caring For Serious Injuries
If your foot or ankle injury includes a bleeding cut, clean the wound thoroughly and apply pressure with a gauze or towel, then cover with a clean dressing. See your podiatrist as soon as possible and refrain from using any medication on the cut before you see your doctor.
If you see blisters, leave them unopened if they are not painful. A compression bandage placed over the blister can provide much needed relief.
Foreign materials in the skin (splinters, slivers or sand) can be removed carefully, but a deep foreign object (broken glass or a needle) must be removed by a professional.
For abrasions, treat them similarly to the way you would treat a burn. If raw skin is exposed to the air, it can become infected. Remove any foreign particles before cleaning the area thoroughly, then apply a sterile bandage and an antibiotic cream or ointment.
Wear footwear appropriate to the activity you will be engaged in. Never walk barefoot on paved streets or sidewalks and watch out for slippery floors at home or at work. If you get up during the night, turn on a light so you can see. Many toe, foot and ankle fractures happen because people can’t find their way in the dark.
If you have experienced a broken toe, foot, or ankle injury in the Cincinnati area, call The Center for Foot Care at your earliest convenience to make an appointment with your podiatric physician. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, your foot or ankle will heal properly, which will alleviate pain and restore your full range of movement.