A broken foot or a foot fracture is a break in any of the 26 bones of the foot. The break may be closed – which means the break does not pierce through the skin – or compound, in which part of the bone has broken through the skin’s surface.
Moreover, a broken foot may be nondisplaced or displaced. A nondisplaced fracture is where the bone remains aligned and no parts have splintered out of place, and a displaced fracture is where the broken bone has one or more bone fragments that have moved out of alignment and may have splintered off.
Recovery from a broken foot largely depends on the type of fracture. Nondisplaced fractures often heal without surgery, whereas displaced fractures require surgery to realign the bones in order to prevent malformation of the bone as it heals. Let’s talk about how recovery works after suffering a broken foot.
Recovery After a Closed, Nondisplaced Foot Fracture
For a minor break or a stress fracture of the foot, recovery may involve conservative treatments. These include the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and pain-relief medicine to control the inflammation. Your doctor may place your foot in a cast or a splint, or the doctor may prescribe orthopedic shoes to prevent movement and allow it to heal.
You may need to use crutches to keep weight off of the injured foot. It typically takes about six to eight weeks for this type of fracture to heal.
Recovering from Compound, Displaced Foot Fractures
For complex foot fractures, the doctor will need to perform surgery to realign the displaced bone fragments. If there is also broken skin, the great risk of infection demands immediate medical treatment. Prior to fixation (realignment) surgery, the surgeon may first remove foreign materials and tiny bone shards and clean out the wound.
During recovery from fixation surgery, be aware of any signs of infection, and take your pain medication as prescribed. As with closed fracture recovery, you will be wearing a cast or splint and using crutches to keep weight off of the affected foot.
Keep the injured foot elevated during the first few days following surgery in order to reduce swelling. Icing the area also helps to bring down inflammation.
Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for the best possible outcome. Complete recovery from a compound and displaced fracture may take between three and six months.
Orthopedic Surgeon for Foot Fractures in Central Maryland
Here at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland Foot & Ankle Care, our experienced podiatrists can treat the full range of conditions affecting the foot and ankle. Everything from our diagnostic center to our ambulatory surgical center are here on-site for your convenience.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our online form now. We look forward to serving you!