(734) 975-1700 Appointment

Foot Fractures in Ann Arbor, MI

Comprehensive Foot Fracture Treatment at Arbor-Ypsi

Dr. Seel and his team of board-certified podiatrists offer unmatched personal attention and clinical excellence. With decades of experience, they stay current on the latest treatment innovations to provide the most effective care for your foot and ankle needs. From joint replacements to bunions and hammertoes, no problem is too big at Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers.

Ann Arbor fracture foot care model receiving treatment

Treating Foot Fractures at Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers

For over 32 years, Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers have proven their dedication to getting you back on your feet. As an independent practice, they offer personalized care without bureaucratic hurdles. Dr. Seel, Dr. Mansour, and Dr. Wenig are committed to finding the root of your foot or ankle issue, specializing in general care, heel pain, ingrown toenails, diabetic foot care, bunions, and hammertoes.

What are Foot Fractures?

Foot fractures are a common concern for people whose daily routines subject their ankles and feet to significant impact forces. This includes activities such as running, basketball, tennis, and gymnastics, which often see participants landing from jumps or experiencing sudden changes in direction. However, it's important to remember that anyone can experience a foot fracture, regardless of their usual activity level. Individuals who are typically sedentary and suddenly embark on a high-intensity, high-impact workout program are particularly at risk for developing stress fractures.

Ann Arbor foot fractures model with white shoes

Types of Foot Fractures?

A foot fracture is a break in one or more of the 26 bones that make up your foot. These fractures can occur in various ways and affect different bones, leading to diverse symptoms and treatment needs. Let's explore the main types of foot fractures:

Traumatic Fracture

Traumatic fractures are caused by sudden impacts, such as falls, accidents, or sports injuries. They're often accompanied by significant pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

Nondisplaced Fracture

Nondisplaced fractures are breaks where the bone ends remain aligned and haven't moved out of place. These fractures are typically less painful and easier to treat than displaced fractures. They may require immobilization with a cast or boot and physical therapy for complete healing.

Displaced Fracture

Displaced fractures occur when the broken bone ends separate and misalign. These fractures are usually more painful and require surgical intervention to realign the bones and promote proper healing. Different types of surgery may be used, such as open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) or external fixation.

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bones caused by repetitive stress. They often develop in the foot or ankle, where bones are subjected to each of the impacts from walking, running, jumping, and other activities. This repetitive force can eventually overwhelm the bone's ability to adapt and repair, leading to small breaks. They frequently occur with athletes and other individuals engaged in high-impact sports and activities. They are often hard to diagnose, as many of the telltale signs of a stress fracture include subtle pains and swelling.

Additional Reading

Stress fractures often announce themselves through a distinct pain localized around the affected bone. This pain can manifest either as a dull or aching pain arising from the general area of the fracture during or after activity, or a sharp, localized pain when the site of the injury is directly touched. Swelling may also accompany the pain, offering another indication to the presence of a stress fracture. The pain may appear or worsen during activity, but subside during rest. Even minimal weight-bearing activities like standing or walking can trigger pain, prompting a return of discomfort after resting. In serious cases, any activity, regardless of intensity, will aggravate the pain, including activities that wouldn't normally cause discomfort. Ignoring the pain and continuing to push through activity, especially high-impact ones, before the stress fracture heals, significantly increases the risk of a full fracture.

Stress fractures may also arise from factors beyond just overuse. Abnormal foot structures, bone deformities, and unsuitable footwear during exercise can all contribute. These factors can place additional stress on the bones, which may not be sufficiently strong to withstand the repeated strain, especially for more intense activities. Additionally, osteoporosis weakens bones, increasing susceptibility to stress fractures even with normal activity levels.

Rest is the cornerstone of stress fracture healing. While some fractures respond quickly to minimal rest, others demand prolonged periods, potentially requiring crutches, immobilization, or physical therapy. In some cases, surgery with supportive pins might be necessary to expedite healing. For high-impact activities like running, implement progressive weekly goals to build muscle strength. Invest in supportive shoes for optimal foot protection.

Common Foot Fractures

Each type of foot fracture can have its own unique characteristics and treatment protocols. If you suspect you may have a foot fracture, it's crucial to consult a podiatrist or doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Common types of traumatic fractures in the foot include:

Ankle Joint Fracture

These occur in the bones that connect your leg to your foot and can range from simple breaks to complex dislocations.

Metatarsal Bone Fracture

These affect the long bones in the midfoot, often resulting from stubbing toes or landing awkwardly on your feet.

Sesamoid Bone Fracture

These are small fractures in the tiny bones beneath the big toe joint and can be caused by repetitive stress or sudden trauma.

Tarsal Fracture

These involve the bones in the back of your foot, including the heel bone (calcaneus), and can be serious due to their role in weight bearing.

What causes a Foot Fracture?

Foot fractures can occur due to various factors, ranging from sudden impacts to repetitive stress. Some of the most common foot fractures include:

Trauma

Falls: This is the leading cause of foot fractures, especially in older adults and children. Falls can cause breaks in any bone of the foot, but the most commonly affected are the ankle bones, heel bones, and metatarsals.

Accidents

Stepping on uneven surfaces, stubbing your toe, or tripping can lead to fractures in the toes, metatarsals, or sesamoid bones.

Sports injuries

Athletes are at increased risk of foot fractures due to the repetitive stress and high-impact nature of their activities. Common sports-related foot fractures include stress fractures, metatarsal fractures, and ankle fractures.

Repetitive Stress

Stress fractures: These small cracks in the bone develop over time due to repetitive stress placed on the foot. Runners, dancers, and military personnel are particularly susceptible to stress fractures.

Overuse injuries

Activities that involve excessive walking, jumping, or running can lead to overuse injuries in the foot, including metatarsal stress fractures and sesamoiditis, which can eventually progress to fractures.

Medical Conditions

Osteoporosis: This condition weakens the bones, making them more susceptible to fractures. People with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer foot fractures, even from minor falls or bumps.

Bone tumors: Although uncommon, foot fractures can sometimes be caused by tumors in the bones.

Other factors

Wearing improper footwear: Shoes that don't fit properly or provide inadequate support can increase the risk of foot injuries, including fractures.

Being overweight or obese: Excess weight puts additional stress on the bones of the foot, increasing the risk of fractures.

Poor nutrition: Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies can weaken bones and make them more susceptible to fractures.

What are the symptoms of a Foot Fracture?

The symptoms of a foot fracture can vary depending on the severity and location of the break. However, some common symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, limited range of motion, deformity, numbness or tingling, grating sensation, or an open wound. However, some fractures, particularly stress fractures, may have subtle or even no symptoms initially. If you suspect you may have a foot fracture, it's crucial to consult a doctor or podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How is a Foot Fracture diagnosed?

It's important to consult a doctor or podiatrist if you experience sudden pain, swelling, difficulty walking, or any other unusual symptoms in your foot. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing further complications and promoting optimal healing.

Ann Arbor foot fractures model with white shoes

How is a Foot Fracture treated?

Diagnosing a foot fracture involves a combination of physical examination, medical history, and imaging tests. Here's the typical process:

Physical Examination

The doctor will begin by carefully examining your foot, looking for any swelling, bruising, tenderness, or deformity. They will also assess your range of motion and ask about the pain you're experiencing.

Medical History

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, how the injury occurred, any past medical history, and any medications you're taking. This information can help them determine the likelihood of a fracture and guide their diagnostic approach.

Imaging Tests

X-rays are the most common imaging test used to diagnose foot fractures. They provide clear images of the bones and can reveal breaks, cracks, and misalignments. In some cases, additional imaging tests may be necessary, such as:

  • CT scan: This provides more detailed images of the bones and surrounding tissues than X-rays, which can be helpful for diagnosing complex fractures.
  • MRI scan: This can help visualize soft tissues, such as ligaments and tendons, which may be injured along with the bone.
  • Bone scan: This can be helpful for detecting stress fractures that may not show up on X-rays.

Specialized Tests

In some cases, your doctor may order additional tests, such as:

  • Nerve conduction studies: These tests measure the electrical activity of the nerves in your foot, which can help diagnose nerve damage associated with the fracture.
  • Electromyography (EMG): This test measures the electrical activity of your muscles, which can also help diagnose nerve damage.
The specific diagnostic tests used will depend on the severity of your symptoms, the suspected location of the fracture, and your doctor's clinical judgment.

Here are some additional points to note:

  • It's important to tell your doctor about any allergies you have to medications or contrast dyes used in imaging tests.
  • You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for several hours before certain imaging tests.
  • You may need to wear a protective gown or shield during imaging tests.

Your Ann Arbor Foot Fracture Treatment can vary depending on the individual and the degree of injury. It's crucial to cooperate with your doctor and follow their instructions throughout the diagnosis process to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan for your foot fracture.

Foot Fracture Recovery and Aftercare

The timeframe for foot fracture recovery depends on the severity of the break and the type of treatment received. Here's a general overview:

Downtime

  • Typically, initial healing requires at least 4-6 weeks of immobilization in a cast or boot.
  • Depending on the fracture type, full weight-bearing may be restricted for 6-12 weeks.
  • For complex fractures or those requiring surgery, recovery time can be 3-6 months or longer.

Things Not to Do

  • Avoid activities that put stress on the injured foot, such as running, jumping, or high-impact sports.
  • Don't apply excessive heat or cold to the injured area.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can impair bone healing.
  • Don't ignore any concerning symptoms, such as worsening pain, increased swelling, or fever.

Incision Care & Scar Prevention

  • If you have an incision from surgery, keep it clean and dry. Follow your doctor's instructions for cleaning and dressing the wound.
  • Apply scar-reducing creams or gels as directed by your doctor.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on the scar for several months.
Ann Arbor fracture foot care model receiving treatment

Maintenance

Physical therapy is crucial to regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion in your foot. To facilitate a gradual return to your normal activities, start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity as tolerated. It is important to wear shoes that provide good arch support and cushioning to protect your foot and prevent re-injury. Maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can put extra stress on your feet and increase the risk of refracture.

Schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your progress and ensure proper healing.

Post-Treatment Life

With proper care and rehabilitation, most people who suffer a foot fracture can expect a full recovery and return to their normal activities. However, some long-term effects are possible, such as:

By following your doctor's instructions and maintaining healthy habits, you can minimize these risks and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle after a foot fracture.

Why choose Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers?

Our services cover general foot care, heel pain, ingrown toenails, diabetic foot care, bunions, and hammertoes, along with foot fractures, a broken foot, traumatic fracture, Nondisplaced fractures, displaced fractures, Stress Fracture, ankle joint fracture, metatarsal Bone Fracture, sesamoid Bone Fracture, toe Fracture, and more.

We're flexible with our hours, often opening early or staying late, to accommodate our community's needs. Our facility has a digital orthotics scanner and on-site digital X-rays. For convenience, we offer telehealth appointments, which can be scheduled by calling (734) 975-1700. Let us guide you back to optimal foot and ankle health at Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers.

Ann Arbor foot fractures model with white shoes

Schedule Your Ann Arbor, MI, Foot Fracture Consultation at Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers Today

At Arbor Ypsi, we go the extra mile for your well-being. Offering early and late appointments, on-site digital scanners for orthotics, and digital X-rays, we strive for the best possible care. Telehealth is also available for your convenience. For over three decades, Dr. Seel and his team have committed to helping patients return to their active lifestyles.

Schedule your appointment today and let the Seel Team help you put your best foot forward!

If you begin to experience any symptoms of stress fractures, you should stop exercising and rest. If the symptoms persist, consult with your podiatrist. Remembering these tips can help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle and allow you to continue living normally. To learn more about Foot Fracture Treatments Ann Arbor patients should call us at (734) 975-1700 to schedule a consultation.

Foot Fracture Frequently Asked Questions

Will a Foot Fracture always cause a bruise?

No, not always. Bruising may occur if the fracture damages blood vessels, but it's not a guaranteed symptom.

Can you walk on a stress fracture?

Walking on a stress fracture can worsen the injury and delay healing. It's important to rest the foot and avoid activities that cause pain.

How much does Foot Fracture treatment cost?

The cost of foot fracture treatment can vary depending on the severity of the injury, the type of treatment required, and your location. In the US, the average cost can range from $300 to $650.

Will my insurance cover Foot Fracture treatment?

Most insurance plans will cover foot fracture treatment. However, it's important to check with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.

What happens when a Foot Fracture is left untreated?

Leaving a foot fracture untreated can lead to serious complications, including:

  • Malunion: This is when the bone heals in the wrong position.
  • Nonunion: This is when the bone fails to heal properly.
  • Arthritis: This is the inflammation of joints, which can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.
  • Chronic pain: This can significantly impact your quality of life.

Get relief today at Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers

At Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we identify your unique foot and ankle needs and develop a highly effective and individualized treatment plan to resolve them. Our experts will work relentlessly to make you feel better and put your best foot forward.

By submitting this you agree to be contacted by Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers via text, call or email. Standard rates may apply. For more details, read our Privacy Policy.