1511 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
The foot is a complicated piece of equipment. On a daily basis, we put near-constant pressure and strain on the 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles present between it and the ankle, all of which are working in concert to provide balance, support, and mobility.
This being understood, it should not come as a surprise that foot and ankle injuries are extremely common. Trauma to any one of these bones, joints, and ligaments may result in extreme pain and/or loss of balance, support, and mobility.
Luckily, because of the numerous injuries seen by our specialists regularly at Bay Area Foot Care, the clinical staff in our Oakland location are expertly equipped and trained to handle any number of injuries and or conditions. The most common kinds of foot and ankle trauma include:
- Strains – Stretches or tears in the muscles or tendons resulting from quick twists or pulls.
- Sprains – Also stretches or tears in the muscles or tendons but more severe than strains. Most commonly, sprains are caused by a fall or trauma to the affected area.
- Bone fractures/breaks – Fractures and breaks affecting the bones in the foot can range from small cracks and fractures to full breaks and separations. These are most commonly caused by direct impact.
People become more susceptible to traumatic foot injuries as they advance in age and/or live a lifestyle that puts repetitive stress on their feet and ankles. Improper footwear and inadequate sports training are factors that should also be taken into consideration.
If a foot or ankle has been injured or even if one feels consistent pain but cannot recall any injury, it is important that the condition does not go ignored. Fractures and full breaks may be slow to heal or may not heal at all, and worse, may heal in a misaligned position, causing chronic pain and even deformity in the foot. This can in turn lead to further complications in the future, including a condition known as post-traumatic arthritis, which generally requires intensive surgical intervention for proper treatment.
Many muscle or tendon injuries if left uncared for can lead to chronic weakness and/or full loss of functionality. Incorrect healing can lead to tendon imbalance, which in turn causes deformity and arthritis.
It is important that if an injury is suspected, a consultation with a medical professional is considered. In most cases, these consultations will include a diagnosis of the exact types of trauma. This will be based on the medical history of the affected area, range of motion/mobility, and if necessary, X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans. In most minor cases, a clinician will recommend the RICE technique:
These simple steps can be quite effective for treating minor strains and sprains and will assist in the healing process alongside other interventions for more serious trauma. More serious interventions like casts and surgery may be necessary for severe injury, but all decisions will be left to the patient and their individual clinician.
Don’t leave foot or ankle injury healing up to chance. If there is an injury, make an appointment at our Bay Area Foot Care San Francisco office and ensure your healing is effective.
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