Podiatry

Foot Fractures and Sprains: Understanding the Difference

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When someone injures his or her foot or ankle, the first thing that comes to mind is: “Is it a break, or is it just sprained?” 

A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is essential for good balance when standing, and walking. Foot fractures cause considerable pain, which are usually made worse by putting weight on thefoot. At the office of our office, our professionals are highly skilled at diagnosing sprains and fractures and are committed to restoring you to optimum foot health.

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, the prognosis of a sprain may actually be worse than a fracture. Some sprains are mild, with just a little swelling that resolves in a week or so. But some sprains are more severe and can take two to three months to fully recover. A fracture or break, however, occurs when the bones in the foot or ankle cannot withstand a force or trauma applied to them.

If an injury is recovering quickly, over hours to a couple of days, then it may not be serious. If the problem persists, the only definitive way to diagnose is through evaluation by a physician to determine the nature and extent of the damage.

Most sprains are treated with an initial period of rest, followed by a rehab program, emphasizing return of motion and strength but avoiding re-injury. For an ankle break, the type of fracture and the stability of the joint will determine the type of splint or cast that will be used and how long it will need to be in place.  In more serious cases, surgery may first be necessary to realign the anklebones.

A trusted partner in care

At our office, we are committed to helping you maintain healthy, pain-free feet. We provide the highest quality care for a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.