When Should You Go to the Doctor for a Foot Injury?

foot injury

You expect professional athletes – runners, gymnasts, dancers – to get foot injuries. But the truth is that everyone who uses their feet can sustain a foot or ankle injury in a split second. Just ask Joe Biden, who recently cracked a couple of bones in his midfoot – the area just below the ankle. Was he playing a bit of football? Hurrying to get to a meeting? Nope – he slipped while playing with his dog.

Injuring any of the 26 bones of your foot is easy. The tricky part is figuring out how bad the injury is.

How bad is your foot injury?

Most foot or ankle injuries will show similar symptoms: swelling, black and blue areas, and some level of pain. But even if you can walk, your injury may be worse than you think. Our expert podiatrists, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, warn you that pushing through pain and walking on an undiagnosed fracture will make a recovery from that injury much more difficult. So here’s what we recommend:

  • Stay off the injured foot. Rest it as much as possible.
  • Apply ice to the injured area to reduce swelling.
  • Take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication also to keep the swelling down.
  • Elevate your foot. Keep it propped up on a pillow or padded stool.
  • Make an appointment with us if your pain gets worse; the swelling doesn’t subside; you can’t put any weight on your foot; signs of an infection such as a fever, pus, or areas of red, warm skin are present; you want to rule out a broken bone.

Mr. Biden was smart to see a doctor. Initial x-rays didn’t show any fractures, but his symptoms prompted further tests. A CT scan uncovered the hairline fractures. They should heal well after a few weeks in a protective boot.

Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland uses digital x-rays and CT scan technology to diagnose a foot or ankle fracture. Whether you live in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, or Summit County, Dr. Oltmann and Dr. Frey have the compassion and experience to treat your injury as if you were the leader of the free world. Call our Solon, Ohio podiatry office at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.