There are a lot of medical conditions which are considered to be common and foot and ankle emergencies are definitely among them. Every day there are new foot and ankle emergencies. There are various injuries and conditions which may happen to a person’s foot or ankle. Some of the most common are broken bones, dislocations, sprains, contusions and infections. The most important thing is that the injury does not get neglected and that it is attended as soon as it occurs.
Injuries of Foot and Ankle
There is not a single person who has never suffered from foot or ankle injury at least once in his or her life. In almost all cases swelling and pain are present.
According to experts, the times when people most commonly end up suffering from foot or ankle injuries are when they participate in sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks or work around the house.
When children are considered, they commonly suffer from foot or ankle injuries during sports or recreational activities such as basketball or football.
Elderly people are also more prone to foot or ankle injuries due to the loss of muscle mass and bone strength. Both of these losses occur naturally because of aging.
People should be aware of the fact that they may end up suffering from sudden or acute injuries or overuse injuries of foot or ankle.
In case of sudden injuries, people should know that they occur from a direct blow, a penetrating injury, a fall or from twisting, jamming or bending a limb abnormally. The pain will be sudden as well and in most cases it is quite severe. There are a lot of acute injuries of the foot or ankle but some occur more often than others. Some of the most common are bruises, puncture wounds, injuries to ligaments that support joints, injuries to tendons, injuries to joints or sprains, pulled muscles or strains, broken bones or fractures, dislocations and a crushing injury.
On the other hand, in case of overuse injuries, they occur after too much stress is placed on the joint or some other tissue. Repeating the same activity over and over again will also lead to foot or ankle injuries and people need to avoid them if they can. Some of the most common overuse injuries of foot or ankle are retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles tendinitis or tendinosis, stress fracture, plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia.
Before you See a Doctor
First of all, people need to know that in case they end up suffering from ankle or foot injury, they should go to the hospital. However, there are some steps they can take in order to help themselves before they get to the hospital. The first step is to rest, avoid standing on the injured foot and avoid any activity. Applying ice should be done as soon as the injury occurs. People can use ice packs or they can put ice in a towel and apply it to the injured spot. After holding the ice for about 20 minutes, people should take a 40 minute break and then apply the ice again. Lightly wrapping an Ace bandage around the area should be done next because of compression. However, the bandage should not be wrapped too tightly. Elevating the foot is very important because that way a person will reduce pain and swelling which are sure to occur when ankle or foot injury takes place.
In case of bleeding cuts, people should cleanse the area and apply pressure with gauze or a clean towel. If there is a foreign object, people should try and remove it very carefully. People might try removing slivers and splinters but in case of broken glass or a needle, they should let the professionals remove these.
Treatment and Prevention of Foot and Ankle Injuries
Every doctor will agree that prevention is always better than treatment and the same goes for foot and ankle injuries.
There are lots of ways people can prevent foot or ankle injuries. For instance, wearing proper shoes for the particular activity is important, such as wearing hiking shoes or boots in rough terrain. If the shoes are worn unevenly, people should stop wearing them. Walking barefoot on paved streets or sidewalks should be avoided. Whenever there is a slippery floor, people should be careful.
In cases a person has injured his or her foot or ankle, he or she will need to undergo some sort of a treatment. The treatment is not the same every time because not every injury is the same. Some of the most common treatments are first aid measures like the application of a brace or splint, a special shoe, physical therapy, medications and even surgery in some cases.
There are also certain factors which will determine the treatment like the location and severity of the injury, when the injury happened and the age, general health and certain activities of the patient.