Debunking Broken Toe Myths

  • By Ruth Ann Cooper
  • 13 Jun, 2016

 “But I Can Still Walk on It…”

Myth 1: “A Doctor Can’t Do Anything for Broken Toes”

Although it is not true, many people believe this myth and never get proper treatment for toe injuries. In fact, if a fractured toe or metatarsal bone is not treated correctly, serious complications may develop.

For Example:

The bones may become deformed, thereby limiting the ability to move the foot or causing difficulty in fitting shoes.

If a fracture occurs in a joint (the juncture where the two bones meet), arthritis may develop. Arthritis may also result from angular deformities that develop when a displaced fracture is severe or has not been corrected properly.

A fracture that does not heal correctly can lead to a need for surgery.

Myth 2: “If You Can Walk on It, It’s Not Broken”

Many people believe this is true and continue to walk on their injured foot despite having a fracture. This can cause further damage to the foot or toe.

Symptoms of a foot fracture include:

·        Pain at the time the fracture occurs for a few hours later, but the pain often subsides after several hours;

·        Misshapen appearance of the toe;

·        Bruising and swelling the next day.

In addition to fractures caused by foot trauma, some people (especially those who participate in sports or who suffer from osteoporosis) may get a stress fracture in their foot without any noticeable cause. Although one can walk on a foot with a stress fracture, these tiny hairline breaks should not be ignored as they can return unless properly treated.

You may have a stress fracture if you notice:

·        pain with or after normal activity;

·        pain that disappears when resting and then returns when standing or during activity;

·        pain at the fracture site when touched

·        swelling but no bruising

Contact my office immediately if you suspect your toe is broken.

Dr. Ruth Ann Cooper

By Ruth Ann Cooper 22 May, 2017

What lies hidden in the grass, dirt or sand can definitely wreak havoc on bare feet. From nails, shards of glass, slivers of wood, pieces of seashell at the beach, thorns from trees and plants or sometimes discarded toothpicks, each can puncture the skin of the foot and cause serious injury. Even after the object has been completely removed from the foot, any dirt or bacteria pushed into the wound from the puncture can lead to an infection, painful scarring or even a cyst. Any puncture wounds should be promptly treated in my office within 24 hours.

Besides hidden dangers, “everyday childhood injuries” can also interrupt a summer break. Protect your children’s feet from traumatic injuries, such as bicycle injuries and lawn mower accidents, by making sure they wear sturdy shoes while riding a bike or when cutting the grass.

Do not discount sunburn on the feet. Protect your children’s feet from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of their feet. Feet, like shoulders, burn faster than the rest of the body since they are most perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Not only is sunburn of the feet painful, it can also cause skin cancers that often go unnoticed until they become very serious.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 20 Apr, 2017

Competitive youth sports often require many athletes to transition from winter activities to spring activities without considering the increased risk of incurring a foot or ankle injury. Moving from indoor to outdoor playing surfaces with varying impact can stress a young athlete’s feet and ankles. Going from sport to sport without allowing time for muscles and bones to rest can cause overuse injuries.

If your child plans to participate in a sport this spring after playing through the winter sports season, follow these six tips:

  1.       Get a preseason health and wellness checkup. A medical evaluation before the season begins can help identify any health concerns that could possibly lead to injury.

2.       Take it slow. Ask the coach to gradually increase children’s playing time during practice to avoid pushing them full throttle. Your child’s feet and ankles need to become accustomed to the activity level required for a sport.

3.       Wear proper, broken-in shoes.   Different sports require different shoe gear. Wearing the appropriate, well-fitting, broken-in athletic shoes can eliminate heel and toe discomfort.

4.       Check your child’s technique. Watch for any changes in your child’s form or technique. Ask the coach to notify you if your child is placing more weight on wide side of his/her body or limping.

5.       Insist on open communication if your child has pain. Express to your child athlete that s/he should inform you and the coach of any pain or discomfort as soon as it occurs. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis and shin splints, can be subtle and develop over time.

6.       If an injury occurs, remember RICE. An injured foot or ankle can often be healed with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, s/he should take a break from playing and allow time for recovery.

By Ruth Ann Cooper 06 Apr, 2017

This painful condition results from inflammation of the tissue band (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes. Repetitive activities, such as a new exercise routine or walking on a daily basis, can put stress on the ligaments in the foot, leading to inflammation and pain.

The good news is heel pain can often be relieved using conservative methods, but it must be treated early.

 Heel pain can become chronic and debilitating if not properly treated.

I can help you find relief with therapies, such as:

  •  Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic devices
  •  Physical therapy
  • Footwear modifications
  •  Activity limitations
  • MLS Laser Therapy
  • Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

 Although most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to nonsurgical treatment, some require surgery. If you continue to have heel pain with non-surgical treatment, we can discuss your surgical options.

Heel pain should not stop you from enjoying the beauty of Spring. Make an appointment with my office if you are experiencing heel pain so my staff and I can help you resume a healthy and active lifestyle.

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