Foot and Ankle Injuries

San Francisco Podiatrist - Foot and Ankle Injuries

Injuries to the feet and ankles are very common and diverse. However, initial response to these injuries are largely the same. Medical evaluation should always be sought to prevent long term symptoms or permanent damage. It is important to not be deceived by common myths associated with foot and ankle issues. The ability to walk on or move the affected foot does not necessarily mean it is uninjured. Partial tears or fractures sometimes simply make walking difficult, but they are still serious and should be treated. Another common misconception is that broken toes are a low priority injury. X-rays may indicate an easily treated fracture, or it could be seriously misaligned and requiring a procedure to prevent deformity or painful corns. Next, don’t follow advice to soak or apply heat to an injured foot or ankle. This can aggravate an already swollen and tender injury. Ice is recommended for immediate care. Wrapping a potentially sprained ankle is a good first step, but not a replacement for medical care. These are both elements of the R.I.C.E. method for immediate care following an injury and prior to doctor evaluation. Rest, ice – not resting directly on the skin, compression with an elastic bandage and elevation at or above hip level. For open wounds immediately clean and cover the area, staunching any bleeding, and seek medical assistance. A compression bandage can relieve blister pain. Foreign objects embedded in the skin should be treated carefully. Small splinters may be removed immediately, but larger objects should be left for physician care. As with any health concern, prevention is the best treatment. Proper footwear, awareness of potential problems and immediate medical care when necessary help keep the feet healthy.