Toe and Metatarsal Fractures treated by Your San Jose Podiatrist
A human foot has a complex internal structure that is made up of muscles, bones, tendons and various other soft tissue. 19 out of the 26 bones in the human foot are phalanges (toe bones) and metatarsal bones (longer bones found in the midfoot). Toe and metatarsal fractures are very common and need to be evaluated by a toe and metatarsal fractures doctor. A San Jose podiatrist should be consulted to receive the necessary diagnosis and treatment, even when you have already received initial treatment in an emergency room.
Fractures are breaks in a bone. All fractures are divided into two distinct categories: stress fractures and traumatic fractures.
A traumatic or sports fracture, also known as an acute fracture, is caused by direct blows or impacts, such as stubbing a toe with substantial force. A traumatic or sports fracture can be either non-displaced or displaced. Fractures that are displaced mean that the bone is broken such that it has changed its position or been dislocated. The treatment of traumatic fractures will depend on the extent of the break, where it is located and whether or not it is displaced. Surgery can be necessary in some cases.
Symptoms or signs of traumatic toe and metatarsal fractures include:
- An actual breaking sound at the time of the injury.
- Pain at the point of impact, also known as pinpoint pain, when the injury occurs or up to a few hours later, followed by a reduction or elimination of the pain.
- Deviation of the toe, which is an abnormal or misshapen appearance.
- Swelling and/or bruising the following day.
It is a common misconception that if you are able to walk on your foot, then it is not broken. A thorough examination by toe and metatarsal fractures doctors is always necessary after an injury. Even if there nail problems, or nails issues.
A stress fracture is a minuscule, hairline break that is most often the result of stress that is repetitive. Athletes are commonly afflicted by stress fractures as a result of pushing themselves too hard. They can also be caused by deformities, abnormal foot structures or osteoporosis. Stress fractures have been known to result from the use of improper footwear. A stress fracture should never be ignored, as it will deteriorate over time if not properly treated.
Symptoms of stress toe and metatarsal fractures include:
- Pain during or following normal activity.
- Pain that diminishes while resting, but returns during activity or when standing.
- Pain at the fracture site when pressure is applied.
- Swelling without any bruising.
Fractures and sprains produce a similar set of symptoms. However, often in the case of a sprain the entire area will hurt instead of only a single point. Your toe and metatarsal fractures doctors ensure that you receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Certain dislocations and sprains can be extremely disabling, and can result in crippling arthritis without proper treatment.
Improper Treatment Consequences
It is often stated that doctors cannot do anything about broken bones in feet, but this is false in the majority of cases. In most cases, if a fractured metatarsal or toe bone is not correctly treated by a San Jose podiatrist, then serious complications will eventually develop.
- Deformities in the architecture of the bone, which will limit the movement of the foot and cause problems with shoe fitting.
- Arthritis, which can be the result of a joint fracture at the juncture of two bones or can result from angular deformities developed from a displaced fracture that is severe or not properly treated by a San Jose podiatrist.
- Long-term dysfunction and chronic pain. A failure to heal might lead to chronic pain or the need for future surgery.
The Treatment of Fractured Toes
A fracture in a toe bone is almost always a traumatic fracture. The treatment of a traumatic fracture will depend on the nature of the break, and can include these various options:
Often all that is needed to treat a traumatic toe fracture is rest.
A splint may be fitted for the affected toe to keep it in position.
- Stiff-Soled or Rigid Shoes
Wearing special shoes that protect the toe and keep it in the proper position can sometimes be enough for it to heal on its own.
When the break is displaced or when the joint is affected, surgery may be required. Surgery will often involve the use of devices for fixation, which are usually pins.
The Treatment of Metatarsal Fractures
A break in a metatarsal bone can result from either traumatic or stress fractures. Some fractures in metatarsal bones will present a unique challenge to your San Jose podiatrist.
We can help your foot, ankle or toes condition – Call Dr. Nguyen Ky today if you need help with or have questions about toe metatarsal foot bone breaks / fractures, call us today or send an email to the right!!
Dr. Nguyen Ky D.P.M. (408) 292-2485
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