Foot and Ankle Injury Myths

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With the fast-paced lives people have today, no one has time to properly attend to foot and ankle injuries. Rather than seek the advice of a professional podiatrist, many people rely on common myths to self-diagnose the severity of their injury. Unfortunately, the time saved initially by foregoing proper treatment can lead to pain and long-term difficulties. Some false common myths are:

“If you can move it, it can’t be broken.” Surprisingly, many people feel confident in this belief. The truth is that not all fractures happen in weight-bearing bones. There are many bones throughout the ankle and foot that can be broken but not prohibit walking or movement. People often consider broken toes or hairline or chip fractures of the ankle and foot insignificant. Ignoring it can lead to balance issues and increase the risk of future injury.

“Toe fractures can wait for treatment.” In addition to being extremely painful, toe fractures can lead to improper or incomplete healing. Immediate diagnosis by a podiatrist provides an opportunity to realign any displacements and avoid deformities. Always seek immediate professional attention to toe injuries.

“Hot water helps ease the symptoms of foot and ankle injuries.” Although applying hot water or heat to an injured foot or ankle may initially feel good, it actually will increase blood flow, swelling and ultimately, pain. If a fracture, sprain or dislocation is suspected, immediately apply an ice pack to the affected area to reduce inflammation and discomfort. After treatment, the podiatrist will recommend when it is appropriate to apply heat.

“Wrapping an elastic bandage around a severely sprained ankle is sufficient treatment.” Seeking immediate professional care for a severely sprained ankle will ensure that appropriate testing, diagnosis and treatment is done. Sprains can indicate significant ligament damage and possibly require immobilization, casting or even surgery. An elastic bandage can impede circulation and increase swelling.

“Breaks, cracks and fractures are all different things.” All these terms can be used to describe broken bones and must be immediately attended to by a physician.

For more foot and ankle injury answers, contact Talus inMotion Foot & Ankle and schedule a consultation.