Fractures, Sprains & Strains

Graphic representing a foot strain and foot sprain

The lower extremities, especially the foot and ankle are prone to injuries. The foot and ankle work as a unit to provide support and mobility to the body when standing, walking, jogging, and running. A foot or ankle strain/sprain is a soft tissue injury whereas a fracture is a break in the bone. A strain is basically like a sprain, but a sprain is usually more painful in nature with stretching and tearing of ligaments. Strains and Sprains can occur from walking for long periods of time, especially on uneven ground. The same goes for jogging and running.

Injuries are the most common cause of foot and ankle fractures, strains, and sprains. Many fractures, strains, and sprains occur while playing sports as one may land or fall after a jump awkwardly which can then lead to an injury (Football, Basketball, Rugby, Soccer, and Dancing ).

Joggers and Runners are prone to stress fractures and fractures of the foot and ankle due to overuse and from uneven and rough surfaces.

Symptoms include pain, swelling, redness to the skin of the affected area, difficulty walking, and bruising may or may not be present. The symptoms worsen with continued standing and walking.

Home treatments include rest, ice, compression (ACE wrap), elevation, and over-the-counter pain reliever medications, both topical and oral.

Seek professional evaluation and treatment if you sustained an injury to the foot and ankle so that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be performed. Examination includes clinical examination of the injured foot or ankle, radiographs, and ordering an MRI if warranted to determine the extent of the injury. Treatment will depend on the injury and extent of the injury. Treatments include rest, elevation, wrapping the injured area with an ACE wrap or compression sleeve, topical pain relievers, oral anti-inflammatory medication, and fracture shoes.

Crutches with a CAM walker boot or hard cast are used for immobilization until the affected area is healed. Outpatient Physical Therapy is also beneficial to help resolve swelling and pain, restore normal function to the area, and strengthen the area to help reduce the recurrence of injury.

To help reduce and prevent injury, it is recommended to warm up and cool down prior to intense physical activities, try to avoid walking, jogging, and running on rough or uneven surfaces, wearing a brace, taping, wearing arch supports or orthotics, and wearing the appropriate footwear for the given activity or sport.

If you participate in a sport, want more information about preventative measures, or sustained an injury to the foot and/or ankle, please contact the office for evaluation and treatment.

For evaluation, confirming diagnosis, and treatment options, make an appointment with Dr. Novabilski