If you have suffered a foot injury, it is important to consider how severe the injury is. It can be difficult to know whether your foot injury is something that can be treated with self-care, or something as serious as a bone fracture.
Untreated foot fractures can cause permanent nerve damage and lead to potential worsening deformity or arthritis. This can mean decreased control of movement in the foot, a lingering tingling sensation, or loss of feeling and sensitivity in the foot. You can also get chronic pain and difficulty with walking.
These key symptoms are signs that you need to see an orthopedic doctor or foot surgeon to determine if your foot is actually broken:
- Deformity. If something is clearly out of place in your foot, that could be an indication that there is a fracture
- Increased pain during activity. If you feel a lot of pain when you are moving around or are unable to put weight on the foot, you should see a doctor.
- Pain that gets worse. If your foot pain keeps getting worse and not better, you may have a fracture
- Swelling that won’t go away. If you are icing and caring for a swollen foot injury and it won’t go down, you should see a doctor.
A broken foot can range from being minor to very severe. This is why it is important to address the condition of your foot after injury, and see a qualified orthopedic surgeon quickly. If your foot is fractured, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in feet will develop an individualized plan to treat your injury based on its severity. Keep the signs of a fracture in mind after you suffer an injury, and don’t wait for the injury to worsen to get help from an orthopedic surgeon.
Dr. Daniel Dean is a fellowship trained foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon. He treats all musculoskeletal pathologies of the foot and ankle in adolescent and adult patients. He has specialized training in total ankle arthroplasty, sports injuries, flatfoot, complex fractures, and minimally invasive techniques in bunion correction.