Foot and ankle injuries are tricky and they happen every day. Is it broken,sprained or strained? The best way to figure out if your injury is severe is to seek immediate treatment from your podiatrist. For many injuries, early attention is vital to treatment.Some of the most common mistakes made with self-diagnoses are due to myths.
- “My toe is broken, but there’s nothing I can do about it” : A broken toe or fracture can actually be realigned and treated by your podiatrist. If you don’t get it realigned, it could be painfully misshapen for the rest of your life resulting in a corn.
- “Wrapping my ankle in an elastic bandage is good enough” : An ankle sprain is either a torn or severely overstretched ligament and demands immediate podiatric attention.X-ray examination, casting or splinting ,and physiotherapy will ensure fast and proper healing. In extreme cases, surgery might be necessary. An ankle sprain is nothing to mess around with and should not be treated lightly.
- “Because I can move it, means is not broken!” : The truth is that you can walk on some broken or fractured bones. The small outer bones of the leg, small chip fractures on the foot or ankle, and toe fractures are often ignored. They are breaks, but don’t seem like it due to the ability to put weight on them.
Here are some steps you can take before you see your podiatric physician to help your pain. Its easy if you can remember the word “RICE“.
- Rest: Restrict your movement and take your weight off your injured foot or ankle.
- Ice: Place a bag of ice, wrapped in a towel, on your injury for a 20-minute on 40-minutes off cycle.
- Compression: Lightly wrap and ace bandage around the area to prevent swelling
- Elevation: Sitting in a position with your foot higher than your waist will reduce swelling and pain.
- For bleeding cuts, cleanse with water and compress with a bandage.It is best to see a podiatrist for cuts on your feet since they can become infected easily.
- Abrasions are similar to burns since raw skin is exposed to the air and can easily become infected. Cleanse with water to remove foreign objects. Apply sterile bandages and antibiotic creams.
- Blisters should be left unopened if not too painful or in a weight-bearing area of the foot. A compression bandage or a blister pad can provide help.
- Splinters, slivers or sand can be self-removed carefully. However, a deep foreign object like glass or a needle, need to be removed by your podiatrist.
As always, proper foot-wear is important for prevention
- Don’t walk bare-foot on paved streets or sidewalks
- Watch out for slippery surfaces
- Wear hiking boots when hiking to give your ankles the necessary support
- Many foot injuries occur when trying to find your way in the dark.So turn on the light if trying to find your way in the middle of the night.
- When mowing wear shoes with protective toes and tops
- Throw away shoes with un-even worn out tread.
Have a Happy Feet Day!