Major And Minor Fracture Care

Foot and ankle fractures of any degree can be painful and make walking difficult. If you do not seek medical treatment, you could experience problems during the healing process. 

If you need to take care of a bone fracture, make an appointment with the orthopedic surgeons at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center. We serve patients throughout Greater Columbus.

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

What Our Patients Say

My husband and I were impressed and please by the friendly and helpful staff. Everyone was compassionate and concerned about my comfort and wellbeing. The surgery center was easy to access and the staff was professional and well trained. The pain management was amazing. I truly was never in much pain and was off all pain medication in one week. I am happy to report I have full flexibility and I am pain free. The one stop shop was great with an x-ray department, cast clinic and physical therapy all in one place.” — Doris B.

What Is a Fracture?

A bone fracture is a medical term used to describe a broken bone. Bone fractures are usually caused by a traumatic injury, such as one sustained in a motor vehicle accident, a sports injury, or a fall. Hairline fractures can occur as repetitive use injuries.

What Is Fracture Care?

Fracture care is the term used to describe the package of treatment that is included to take care of your fractured bone. At Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center, our fracture care consists of the following:

  • Fracture treatment
  • Application of a cast or splint
  • Surgical treatment when necessary
  • Follow-up care

Types of Fractures

A doctor determining major and minor fracture care for patient's ankle.

You may hear many terms to describe bone fractures. These terms are used to describe the pattern of the break, the cause of the fracture, and/or the location. The following examples highlight some of the terms used to describe bone fractures:

  • Transverse fractures: The fracture is in a straight line across the bone.
  • Oblique fracture: The fracture is at an angle along the bone.
  • Longitudinal fracture: The bone breaks along the length of the bone.
  • Comminuted fracture: This is where the bone has broken into 3 or more pieces.
  • Compound fracture: This type of fracture results in the bone being seen through the skin. The broken bone may pierce through the skin, or there may be a deep wound exposing the bone. This is also referred to as an open fracture.
  • Displaced fracture: This is a term used to describe when the fractured pieces are not in anatomic alignment.

Types of Foot and Ankle Fractures

There are many types of foot and ankle fractures. The list below mentions some of the possible fractures that can occur in your foot or ankle.

  • Calcaneal stress fractures: These are overuse injuries/fractures in your heel that occur from repetitive stress/microtrauma.
  • Fifth metatarsal fractures: This fracture occurs in the long bone that sits behind your little toe. These fractures occur from injury, overuse, or high arches.
  • Jones fractures: This is a specific 5th metatarsal fracture. The location of this fracture can make healing very difficult. Depending on your age/physical demands will dictate how this is treated. This can occur when you increase your training, gain weight or run on an even surface.
  • Lisfranc fractures: This refers to a midfoot fracture. They usually occur through traumatic injuries. These types of fractures typically require surgical intervention. 
  • Talus fractures: Your talus is the main bone of your ankle that connects your leg to your foot. This ankle fracture can occur in high-impact injuries.
  • Trimalleolar fractures: This is another type of ankle fracture that occurs in the lower leg bones that make up the ankle. These fractures are very unstable and almost always require surgical intervention.
  • Pilon fractures: This ankle fracture occurs at the base of the tibia bone close to the ankle. It happens when the tibia is driven down with such great force that it breaks.

When to See a Doctor

You should seek medical attention if there is an obvious deformity, if the pain and swelling don’t improve with self-care, or if the pain of your foot or ankle condition worsens and begins swelling. You should also see a doctor if you cannot bear weight on your injured foot and/or ankle.

How to Diagnose Foot and Ankle Fractures

Your doctor will begin with a physical exam. They may check the range of motion of your ankle and ask you to walk to check your gait. Your doctor may also order one or more of the following imaging tests:

Foot and Ankle Fracture Treatment

There are several forms of treatment to help correct fractures. Consider some of the non-surgical and surgical treatments.

Non-Surgical Fracture Treatments

You can control many of the symptoms of a fracture with the RICE method. This refers to Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. You may take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce swelling and pain.

If your bones are out of line, your doctor may need to perform a closed reduction. This refers to a realignment of the broken bones. Your doctor may also immobilize the broken bone with a splint, a protective boot or a cast. This will depend on the location and severity of the fracture.

Surgical Repair of Foot and/or Ankle Fractures

More serious fractures may require Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) fracture surgery. Listed below are some of the surgical procedures for foot and ankle fractures.

  • Internal fixation: Metal plates, pins and/or screws can be utilized on broken bones until they heal properly.
  • Reconstruction of soft tissues: Damaged ligaments or tendons can be reattached to the bones.
  • Bone graft: Bone grafting is used when you have a significant boney void or the bone is not healing properly.

Recovery

During the recovery period, it may be recommended that you do physical therapy. This will help restore your range of motion and strengthen the muscles in the area.

Schedule Your Appointment Now

If you need to care for a bone fracture, make an appointment with our expert surgeons at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center. We have several locations in the Columbus, OH area to serve you. Our experienced specialists look forward to providing the quality care you deserve.

Medically reviewed by Corey J. Griffith, DPM

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