“Oh the weather outside is frightful” right now, and it is easy with this weather to slip and fall on the ice. Slipping on black ice or snow can result in sprains, strains and even fractures. Unfortunately, these type of injuries don’t just occur in the wintertime but can occur all year round. So how can you tell the difference and how do you treat them?
It can be difficult to determine whether or not an injury is a fracture. Any injuries can cause the area to swell. The best treatment is to immediately RICE it. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. You should stop putting weight on the injured area, put an ace wrap on (not too tight), elevate the foot/ankle, and apply ice 20 minutes off and on for 2 cycles. If after these treatments there is still significant pain and swelling, immediate attention should be sought.
Bruising can commonly occur with a fracture. This is a sign of internal bleeding. Bruising—also known as ecchymosis—can occur when a bone is broken or a ligament or tendon detaches a small area of bone. Occasionally, bruising can occur in severe sprains, too, so this is not completely diagnostic for a break.
Pain with movement of the injured area can occur with any type of injury. However, if the pain persists the likelihood of it being a fracture is higher. If your pain continues it is important to get an x-ray. This allows us to evaluate the bone structure and diagnose correctly. We have state of the art digital X-rays systems available at our West Chester and Newtown Square locations.
If a fracture is diagnosed, the injured area is immobilized, or held still. This allows the break to heal faster. If a toe is involved, two toes will be bandaged together to limit its motion. If the injured area is in the midfoot, arch area, you could be placed in a post-op shoe (wooden stiff-soled shoe) to prevent bending. If the break is near the ankle it may be necessary for you to be placed into a cast or removable cast boot to limit all motion of the foot and ankle.
After an injury start the tenants of RICE treatment right away. If your pain persists, however, you must seek treatment immediately. This is why Podiatry Care Specialists, PC has evening appointments four nights per week and Saturday hours. Call our Newtown Square office in Southeastern Pennsylvania at (877) 905-5907 for your emergency needs, or check out our other locations and numbers on our website. Be careful out there!
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