About Foot Sprains & Fractures
Foot Sprain vs. Foot Fracture
A foot sprain is an injury in which the arch ligaments of the foot are stretched or torn. Ligaments are bands or sheets of fibrous tissue that connect two or more bones or cartilages. They also serve as a support for fasciae or muscles.
A foot fracture is a broad term used to describe a medical condition in which there is a bone break in the foot. The foot is made up of 26 bones; these bones include the phalanges, tarsals, metatarsals, talus, and the calcaneus. As such, the break may occur in the toes, mid-foot, hind-foot, or the heel.
The following are symptoms of a foot sprain:
- Increased Pain when Shifting Weight
- Warmth in the Foot
The following are symptoms of a foot fracture:
- Difficulty walking
- Foot or toe malformation
Foot Sprain Grades
There are three grades of foot sprains:
- 1st degree – Mild injury, pain, and +/- swelling. Functionally intact.
- 2nd degree – Moderate injury with moderate-to-severe swelling. Less functionally intact. Weight bearing is difficult due to moderate/extreme pain.
- 3rd degree – Severe injury and pain with diffuse swelling. Ligaments are completely torn. Gross instability and near or complete loss of function.
A foot fracture or sprain can be caused by, but is not limited to, the following:
Depending on the severity of your injury and whether medical attention was immediately given, a foot fracture or sprain may affect various areas of daily life. The typical foot injury may cause minor inconveniences at home and work; however, you may receive a cast or boot with crutches. Pain will increase if your foot bumps into an object while healing, so caution is advised.
The RICE method is usually helpful in treating a foot fracture.
- R – Rest
- I – Ice
- C – Compression
- E – Elevation
In order to prevent the injury from worsening, a foot cast or splint may be used until the fracture has healed as much as necessary. Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or acetaminophen, can also help with the pain and swelling. If you are experiencing severe pain, a stronger pain medication may be used.
Once the pain starts to subside, you will work on strengthening the foot and leg muscles by using a series of motion exercises; physical therapy may also be of assistance. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be required.
If you have a foot sprain or fracture from an accident, call the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at (602) 265-6700, or contact us by filling out the online Case Evaluation Form.