Foot and ankle trauma are extremely common for people of all shapes and sizes. Thousands of people sprain their ankle every day in the U.S. Ankle sprains can occur with walking or running on an even surface, high impact activities and those that involve cutting back and forth such as basketball. Depending on the severity of your injury, foot and ankle trauma can result in chronic pain, limited mobility, and a reliance on assistive devices, such as canes, crutches and even walkers.
At Ross Center for Orthopedics, our specialists offer a number of treatments for foot and ankle trauma. These treatments range from non-invasive to surgical techniques. We tailor each treatment to meet our Central NJ patients’ unique needs, so that they can once again walk and exercise with comfort and ease.
Types of Foot and Ankle Trauma
The foot and ankle are complex structures. They are made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. The foot and ankle work together to support the body, promote good balance, and allow for mobility, so if any of those bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments become injured, it can have a huge impact on a person’s basic physical functions.
Foot and ankle injuries can occur as a result of a trip or fall, a sports injury, an automobile accident, aging or repetitive stress. The most common types of foot and ankle injuries include:
• Achilles tendonitis or tear
• Ankle strain or sprain
• Stress fractures of the foot
• Fractures of the ankle
• Plantar fasciitis
Treatment plans for our Central NJ patients vary because every foot or ankle injury is unique. Here are some potential foot or ankle injury treatment options:
The RICE Technique
When a foot or ankle injury first occurs, the best course of treatment is the RICE technique, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Individuals should rest to keep weight off the injured foot/ankle. While resting, the foot and ankle are wrapped and elevated. Ice or cold compresses can be applied to the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time periodically throughout the day. RICE alone may work for minor sprains or strains, but most foot and ankle injuries require medical attention.
Other Treatment Options
There are several treatment techniques that may be used to treat foot and ankle trauma. Our doctors start with the least invasive course of action and only consider more intensive treatments as necessary. Foot and ankle injuries are commonly treated with rest, medication, and the use of a walking boot or cast. However, some injuries require surgical treatment. Surgical techniques for foot and ankle injuries include:
• Arthroscopy (minimally invasive surgery)
• Ankle fracture surgery
• Ankle joint replacement
What is the Recovery Time for a Foot or Ankle Injury?
Everyone heals at their own rate. The length of time that it takes to recover from a foot and ankle injury is largely dependent on the type and severity of the injury / trauma. That being said, most people can expect it to take several weeks to recover from a foot or ankle injury.
If an injury requires surgery, patients can expect to wear a cast and rely on crutches or other assistive devices for several weeks after surgery is complete. Some patients might feel like foot and ankle injury recovery is drawn out. However, it is important to allow the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments time to heal properly so that further complications do not develop.
If you have suffered from a foot or ankle injury, the orthopedic experts at Ross Center for Orthopedics can create a treatment plan to restore comfort and movement. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us at (609) 267-2333.