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Fracture or Sprain Foot?

By Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS | Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Foot injuries are common when playing sports. Many can be intensely painful, but how can you tell whether you have a fracture or sprain foot? If you are experiencing foot pain after sports, a visit to the ER may be necessary to diagnose the problem. Fractures are injuries that involve damage to the bones, while sprains are injuries to the ligaments.

One common type of sprain occurs in the mid-foot. This can occur after an accident during pivoting or twisting the foot. The area will be painful and swollen. A few hours after the injury, some bruising may be visible on the top of the foot.

To find out whether you are suffering from sprains or bone fractures, your foot doctor will most likely perform x-rays from several angles. The x-rays will reveal any broken bones. If there is a rupture of the ligaments, the bones of the foot will be farther apart than normal, indicating that the ligament has been stretched and possibly even separated from the bone. If a more serious injury is suspected, the x-ray may be followed with an MRI.

Sprains are divided into three categories. The first, category one, occurs when the ligament stretches, but then returns to its original shape. Category two is a partial rupture, and category three a complete rupture.

For most mild sprains, the foot is immobilized for a period of time, and the patient is given NSAIDS to cope with the pain and swelling. For more serious sprains, surgery may be required. For fractures, the patient will usually have the bone set and be required to wear an immobilizing cast for a period of time. To learn more about a sprain or fracture foot, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. It’s critical to know the type of foot injuries you’re suffering from to prevent adverse outcomes.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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