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Posts for category: Foot and Ankle Injuries

Many people have stubbed their toe by hitting it or dropping something heavy on it, felt pain, and wondered if it was broken. It might be a sprain but it is important to know if the toe is broken because if left untreated, a broken toe can lead to problems in movement and later down the road, potential for osteoarthritis or nerve damage. If you hear a bone break, feel intense pain and the toe swells, see discoloration, or have trouble putting weight on it, the toe might be broken. With a bad break, there can be a dislocation and the toe will look like it is at an odd angle. With a sprained toe, all the same symptoms may be present but the toe should not look dislocated and it should feel better sooner than a broken toe. Also, with a break, the pain is often felt right where the fracture has taken place versus being more generalized around the toe with a sprain. Prevent such injuries to your toes by refraining from going barefoot, especially in the dark and in unfamiliar areas. If symptoms do not get better in a few days, it is suggested to see a podiatrist who will take X-rays and provide you with a definitive diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe

Fatigue fractures, which are known as stress fractures, occur when there is stress that is exerted on the bone. The foot is a common place for this to happen, and it can occur from increasing mileage and speed too quickly while running. The area may be tender to touch, and there can be severe pain and discomfort. A stress fracture can be confirmed when a proper diagnosis is performed. This can include having an X-ray or MRI taken, and then proper treatment can begin. It is beneficial to temporarily stop practicing the activity that led to the stress fracture. Patients have found mild relief when the affected foot is elevated. Many patients can perform non-impact exercises that can include swimming and cycling. This can help to maintain exercise goals while the injured foot is healing. Gradually, the normal routine of exercise and activities can be resumed, when the stress fracture has healed. If you feel you may have endured a stress fracture in your foot, it is strongly advised that you consult a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about stress fractures

Ankle sprains are fairly common among active adults. A sprained ankle is usually caused by the overstretching or twisting of a ligament around a joint. With a mild sprain, you may not even realize it for the first few hours. Later on, some swelling, and in some cases discoloration, may become apparent. A sprain is also likely if your range of motion is reduced. At that point, basic first aid recommendations include ice, compression and elevation. The question is, how serious is it, and can I still walk on it? Generally, it’s not a good idea to put weight on a sprained ankle. Using crutches or a walker may help you get around, until you can seek medical assistance. It’s a good idea to call a podiatrist as soon as possible for a more extensive examination and diagnosis.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about dealing with ankle sprains

Stubbing your toe can be incredibly painful. In most cases, the pain subsides after a minute or two. In other cases, what seems like a simple stubbed toe can become an intensely painful and increasingly worsening injury. If your toe pain gets worse over the course of several hours and your toe is swollen, bruised, deformed, or numb, you may have a broken toe bone and should seek medical care immediately. If you have pain, swelling, bruising, and felt a popping sensation at the time of injury, you may have a toe sprain. You can also injure your toenail when stubbing your toe, which can make blood pool under the nail and cause pain and pressure in the toenail. If you have stubbed your toe and are concerned about the injury, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. 

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Broken Toes

Research has indicated that a staggering sixty percent of people who enjoy running have endured a running injury in the past year. These injuries may be the result of inconsistent training and possibly from increasing speed and distance too soon. An acute running injury is generally traumatic and happens suddenly. Now you're probably wondering what an acute running injury is. Most commonly they are strains and sprains, but can also be a muscle tear, bone crack, or ligament snap. Other running injuries may include plantar fascitiis, heel spurs, stress fractures, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendonitis. Whether a runner falls, twists an ankle, or gets struck by a vehicle, it's usually painful and associated with a "popping" sound followed by inflammation. Additionally, the foot may have a limited range of motion, and it may be difficult to walk. Runners may be able to prevent these injuries by paying attention to the type of ground they’re running on, being aware of their surroundings, and stretching before and after a run. There are many painful foot conditions that can occur from running injuries, and it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide helpful suggestions on how to prevent running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries