Fractures are one of the most common foot-related health problems, affecting millions of Americans each year. At his practice in San Jose, California, experienced podiatrist Gerald D. Austin, DPM, boasts years of experience diagnosing and treating fractures. Using safe, effective measures, he encourages your body’s natural healing process. To make an appointment, call the office, or click the online booking tool.
Fractures occur when one or more of the bones in your foot break. The severity of a fracture varies. Some are so small they’re difficult to detect with an X-ray; others are large and cause a bone to split into several pieces.
Regardless of severity, fractures always require professional medical intervention. Without prompt diagnosis and treatment, they may fail to heal, affecting your mobility and quality of life.
Common symptoms of fractures include:
If you experience a fracture, you might also find it difficult to place weight on the affected foot.
Fractures affect people of all ages, races, and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including playing contact sports or working a physically demanding job. You’re also more likely to experience a fracture if you’re overweight, have arthritis, or fail to wear the proper protective equipment during exercise.
To diagnose fractures, Dr. Austin reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms, including when they first occurred, their severity, and if you’ve tried any at-home measures of relief. Next, he physically examines your foot, gently pressing on it to pinpoint areas of swelling, bruising, or warmth.
If a comprehensive exam doesn’t provide enough information to make a diagnosis, Dr. Austin orders diagnostic imaging like X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan. These measures provide detailed photographs of the hard and soft tissues in your feet. Dr. Austin reviews the photographs to detect broken bones or other potentially serious problems.
Treatment of fractures depends on the location, severity, and the injury’s effect on your quality of life. Usually, conservative measures of care like ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication are enough to provide relief. You might also benefit from immobilization with a cast or splint.
If you have a complex fracture that doesn’t respond to traditional treatments, Dr. Austin might recommend orthopedic surgery. During surgery, he uses special tools to repair the bone and move it back into the proper position. Then, he inserts plates, screws, and pins into the bone to encourage your body’s natural healing process.
To learn more about treatment for fractures, make an appointment at the practice of Gerald D. Austin, DPM, by calling the office to speak with a caring member of the administrative staff, or by clicking the online booking tool.