Almost everyone gets a foot or ankle injury in their lifetime. This injury can be minor and go away on its own, but it can also be severe, needing appropriate medical treatment. Regardless of the extent of your foot and ankle injury, pushing yourself extra hard and worsening the problem is often easy. The experienced team at Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, under the leadership of Dr. McAlister, offers surgical and nonsurgical treatment options to help heal foot and ankle fractures. The doctor customizes your treatment to heal the fracture before it worsens. Here is everything you need to know about foot and ankle fracture treatments.
What Are Foot and Ankle Fractures?
Foot and ankle fractures refer to partial or full breaks on your bone. The fractures range from a small crack in your bone to a major break where the bone projects through the skin. Even small foot and ankle fractures can become severe and affect your walking ability if not treated. Over time, a fracture that doesn’t heal properly might cause issues with your walking.
What Are the Causes of Foot and Ankle Fractures?
A foot and ankle injury is caused by excess pressure and stress on your ankle joint, foot, or bones that make up the joint. These bones are the fibula, tibia, and talus. The common causes of foot and ankle injury include; twisting the ankle due to tripping, the impact of an accident, excess pressure during a fall or jump, and overextending the ankle joint. People who play sports and exercise regularly are at higher risk of getting a foot or ankle injury than those who don’t.
What Are the Available Treatment Options?
Different foot and ankle fracture treatment options are available depending on your injury’s severity.
When you go to a doctor with a foot and ankle fracture, the doctor first takes an X-ray to ensure the injury does not need surgical intervention. If the medial malleolus or fibula, the bump on the inner side of your ankle, is cracked but still securely in place, the doctor will take measures to protect your ankle as it heals using a brace, tennis shoe, or short leg cast. On the other hand, if you are diagnosed with a posterior malleolus fracture near the ankle joint at the back of your tibia, immediate treatment is undertaken to avoid the risk of developing arthritis later in life. The doctor might also recommend physical therapy based on your injury severity.
Surgical options are normally recommended if the fracture has left your ankle joint unstable or if the doctor sees that the injury can’t heal properly on its own. The recommended surgery type will depend on your injury location and fracture intensity. In most cases, the surgeon will use screws and plates to remedy the problem and relieve pain. A bone graft is even recommended if the fracture is highly severe. Physical therapy is often integrated into the post-surgery recovery plan to help enhance the healing process.
Foot and ankle injuries can affect mobility, functionality, and quality of life. If you have a foot and ankle injury, Dr. McAlister and his team provide effective treatments to heal and relieve your pain. Call or schedule an appointment online today to get started.