A broken toe can be painful and irritating to deal with, but it is rarely life-threatening and usually doesn’t require surgery. We have many bones in our feet and toes, and they are all responsible for supporting our body. When we engage in physical activity and exercise, they endure even more force from our weight, so a foot fracture is a fairly common occurrence.
Taking care of our feet is vital to our overall health. They take us everywhere we want to go and endure a lot of strain. We should take proper steps to reduce the risk of injury in whatever we do, however factors outside of our control still play a part in sustaining an injury from time to time. If you play a sport or live an active lifestyle, you should wear the correct protective gear. This starts with your shoes and can involve other sorts of padding or orthopedic devices for people who need it. Your shoes should be supportive and offer your toes plenty of space to move. Always stretch and warm up before engaging in exercise. If you suffer from a condition that might affect your feet, such as diabetes or arthritis, make sure you are taking extra precautions to prevent injury. Diabetic neuropathy could mean you are unable to feel it if you injure yourself, and arthritic joints are more susceptible to injury.
There are several different types of fractures that can occur in the foot. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the surface of the bone and happen when the foot is under too much strain, for instance when you increase the intensity of a workout regimen too quickly. A stable fracture is when the bones are cracked but stay in alignment. A displaced fracture means the bones no longer line up together. A Jones fracture is one of the more serious types because it cuts off the blood supply to the bone and may require surgery to fix it. If you notice that your feet or toes are swollen, red, or bruised, you may have a toe fracture rather than a sprain or bruise. Getting it correctly diagnosed quickly is the best thing to do for a fracture, so that treatment can start immediately.
The first thing you should do if you suspect a broken bone in your foot is to use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Then call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel to have it examined. We may prescribe an anti-inflammatory to deal with the pain. You will most likely need to immobilize the foot so that the bone can heal. This can mean a cast or a splint. Very rarely is surgery required to fix a fracture in the foot, but at times it is necessary. You will most likely be off your feet for a period of time as the healing process takes place.
Don’t take a broken toe lightly. It may seem a small thing, but improperly healed foot fractures can cause stiffness or develop arthritis down the road. Call 888-616-2512 to schedule an appointment in one of our three conveniently located Massachusetts offices: North Andover, Lowell, or Haverhill. We can diagnose and treat your broken foot so that you can go back to your daily routine.