Posts for category: Foot Injuries
Sports injuries happen, and your feet and ankles are especially vulnerable. Your feet and ankles are overworked to begin with, and if you play a sport with a lot of running or high levels of foot stress, it adds to your risk of injury. Fortunately, your podiatrist is just the person to see when you’ve experienced a sports injury to your feet or ankles.
Sometimes a sports injury will heal by itself. For mild sports injuries, you can try:
- Elevating and resting the area to take weight and stress off of it
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication
More severe sports injuries should be seen by your podiatrist. So, when should you see a podiatrist for a sports injury? You should have an examination by a podiatrist if you:
- Experience severe pain or swelling
- Are unable to put weight on the injured area
- Notice differences in your foot or ankle structure
- Heard popping or snapping when you injured yourself
- Feel tingling, numbness, or weakness in your foot or ankle
Sports injuries involving feet and ankles are common, and the most common injuries include:
Plantar fasciitis, which causes pain on your heel and down the side of your foot; runners and joggers often have this injury.
Shin splints, which cause pain running down the front of your leg, next to the tibia; leg stress without proper stretching can cause shin splints.
Dislocated or fractured bones, which cause swelling, bruising, severe pain and loss of function; impact sports like soccer and football can cause this injury.
Tendon or ligament tears or strain, which causes severe pain and instability; leg stress without proper stretching can cause this injury.
Toenail injuries, which causes pressure under your toenail and moderate to severe toe pain; impact sports like soccer, football, and basketball can cause this injury.
When you visit your podiatrist, treatment recommendations may include:
- Orthotics for plantar fasciitis and other conditions
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain
- Assistive devices like casts and crutches to take the weight off of your injury
- Surgical treatment to realign fractured or broken bones
- Physical therapy to help you regain mobility and strength
If you experience a sports injury involving your feet or ankles, don’t wait. See your podiatrist today.
What are the types of fractures?
There are different kinds of foot fractures based on the type of bone that’s impacted. Fractures can impact the toes, heel, sesamoid bone, and metatarsal bone, as well as the ankles. Stress fractures are hairline fractures that occur as a result of repeated stress placed on the foot. This is common in athletes.
What are the warning signs of a fractured foot?
There are certain symptoms to be on the lookout for if you suspect that you might have a fractured foot. Some signs of a foot fracture include:
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- Limited mobility or restricted range of motion
- Trouble bearing weight on the injured foot
- Deformity or misshapen foot
How is a fractured foot treated?
- Ample rest
- Pain relievers to alleviate pain and swelling
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Specialized exercises
- Protective shoe or boot
- Casting, crutches, or immobilization (for more severe fractures)
What is a corn?
A corn is a buildup of skin that occurs when there is repeated friction or pressure placed on the skin. This buildup of skin helps to protect the skin underneath. Corns most commonly develop on the side or tops of the toes and can be either hard or soft. Soft corns often appear between the toes while hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes. While both corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin, calluses are often larger and typically develop on the bottoms of the feet.
Who is more at risk for developing corns?
Certain factors can make someone prone to corns and calluses. These include:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow
- Having certain foot conditions that alter its structural alignments such as arthritis, bunions, or hammertoes
- Wearing shoes without socks
- Being a smoker
If you are a healthy individual, then simple lifestyle changes and home care can help to improve your corn. Soak the area for 5-10 minutes to soften the area. You may use a pumice stone to gently remove some of the thickened layers of skin. Make sure not to be too aggressive or to remove too much, as this can lead to bleeding and even infection. After pumicing the area, make sure to apply a moisturizer to your feet. If you have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet, do not try the pumice or remove the corn yourself. A podiatrist can provide you with the proper treatment.
Make sure you are wearing properly fitted shoes at all times. This can cut down on the number of corns or calluses you’ll deal with. Keep nails properly trimmed so they don’t rub against toes and cause corns. If certain areas of your feet are prone to corns, you may wish to apply protective adhesive padding to the area either to protect the corn or to prevent a new one from forming.
If you notice any changes to a corn, including signs of infection, it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist right away for care. While most corns will go away if you avoid any shoes that cause pressure or friction to the area, you should turn to a foot doctor if you have concerns.
Why Splinters Need to be Removed
Regardless of whether the splinter is wood, glass, or even a plant thorn, you must remove it from the foot as soon as possible. Why? Because these foreign objects also contain germs, which can lead to an infection if the splinter isn’t promptly and fully removed.
How to Remove a Splinter Yourself
You probably have all the tools you need at home to remove a splinter safely. Of course, it’s important to go over the basics of safe splinter removal. Here are tips for safely removing the splinter:
- Soak the foot in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin
- Wash your hands thoroughly before removing the splinter
- Once the skin has softened in the water, see if you can squeeze the splinter out by simply applying pressure to both sides (like you would a pimple)
- If squeezing doesn’t work, you can use tweezers or a sewing needle to remove the foreign object (just make sure to disinfect these tools first with rubbing alcohol)
- If the splinter cannot be grabbed with tweezers, use the needle to create a small opening around the splinter to make it easier to grab
- Be gentle and careful when removing the splinter to avoid breaking it
While a splinter often isn’t a big deal there will be situations in which turning to a podiatric physician will be the best option. You should turn to one if:
- You aren’t able to remove the splinter or foreign object yourself
- The area becomes red, tender, swollen, or contains pus (signs of infection)
- You feel like there’s a splinter but you can’t see it
- You have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet (do not try to remove a splinter yourself)
- The splinter is too deep or too painful
- Your child is too squeamish or won’t sit still so you can remove the splinter
Are You Able to Put Weight on Your Foot?
One method that you can use to determine whether or not you have actually broken a toe is checking if you can put weight on your foot. If you can walk on your foot without limping or pain, your toe is likely not broken. Icing the toe and using some non-prescription anti-inflammatory medication will probably be enough. In the event that you continue to experience swelling or severe pain, you should see a doctor about your toe.
Does Your Toe Have a Deep Wound?
You should take a close look at your injured toe. If your toe has a deep wound or cut, the bone in your toe might get exposed to the air and a doctor should check out your injured toe. Another sign that you have a broken toe is bruising. Additionally, one more sign that you have actually broken your toe is some discoloration on or near your toe. An obvious sign of a broken toe is if it is at a different angle than the toe on your other foot.
What Else Should I Know About Broken Toes?
Taping is a common solution for a broken toe. This works just fine if the break in the toe is simple and the bones are still in alignment. Taping your broken toe will not help it heal properly, though. That is why you should keep the following information in mind:
- Consult a doctor about your broken toe so it heals correctly.
- Taping your toe could worsen the situation if you have a bad break in your toe.
- Taping your toe is only a viable solution in some circumstances.