OC Feet News
Posts for tag: preventive care
The LA Marathon is this weekend, and it's the perfect reminder to think about your foot and ankle health - especially to prevent sprains and fractures.
Injury Prevention - The most important step!
Injuries are the leading causes of foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Runners may develop stress fractures of the ankle or foot. Warming up prior to physical activity can prevent ankle sprains and fractures. So can wearing proper shoes. If you're an athlete, talk to your podiatrist to determine which shoes are best for your sport. Athletic shoes should be replaced yearly; running shoes should be replaced every 300–400 miles or so.
Avoid running or walking on uneven surfaces. Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause of foot and ankle sprains and fractures.
What is a Foot or Ankle Sprain or Fracture?
The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. A fracture is actually a break in the bone.
Know the Symptoms
Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle.
If you've hurt your foot or ankle, it's best to err on the side of caution. The acronym RICE can help you remember what to do:
Rest—Rest the affected area. Stay off the injured foot or ankle until it can be fully evaluated. Walking, running, or playing sports on an injured foot or ankle may make the injury worse.
Ice—Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible, and reapply it for 15–20 minutes every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease inflammation.
Compression—Wrap an elastic bandage (such as an Ace® wrap) around the affected foot or ankle. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.
Elevation—Elevate the affected extremity on a couple of pillows; ideally, your foot or ankle should be higher than your heart. Keeping your foot or ankle elevated also decreases swelling.
When to Visit a Podiatrist
If you've injured your foot or ankle, see a podiatrist. He or she can determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan of care to get you back to your favorite activites (or back to your everyday life) as soon as possible.
Increased pain, swelling, bruising, redness, or difficulty walking after an injury are definite signs that it's time to see a podiatrist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Orange County Foot & Ankle Group takes care to understand your needs, and works with you to find the best solution for your feet. We listen to your concerns and carefully examine your feet and ankles, as well as factor in any additional necessary medical information. We can order tests, including an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to determine the extent of your injury. If you have a fracture that's clearly visible on X-ray, you may not need additional testing. Ultrasounds and MRIs are useful for finding soft issue injuries (including torn ligaments) and stress fractures.
Many treatments, such as stress fractures and sprains require rest. Oral anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can be used to decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation. Our practice also perfroms surgies if necessary. As always, treatment will depend on your injury, and we're here to help you every step of the way.