As a sports medicine podiatrist in San Francisco, I believe there are more broken toes then stress fractures. Broken toes are not only common but they are often mistreated. One of the reasons that broken toes are not treated properly is that many people assume that you will “just know” if the toe is broken. There is also a common misconception that “if you can walk on the foot, the toe is can’t be broken.” This is simply not true.
A fracture is a break in the bone. Midfoot fractures involve the bases of the metarsal bones, the cuniform bones, navicular or the cuboid bone. These can be debilitating injuries if not properly treated. All fractures of the mid-foot warrant an evaluation by a foot fracturespecialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Calcaneal Fractures (Broken Heel Bone)
The medical term for the heel bone is “calceaus”. For that reason, when when you fall and break your heel bone, any doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area (or anywhere else for that matter) will tell you that you have a “calcaneal fracture.” This article by San Francisco Foot Surgeon Dr.Christopher Segler will explain calcaneal fracture treatment.
San Francisco Ankle Surgeon Explains Ankle Fracture Surgical Treatment
Whether you roll you ankle stepping of a curb wrong in downtown San Francisco or slip and fall on a hiking trail in the Marin Headlands, if you break your ankle, you need treatment. Ankle fractures don’t heal predictable without surgery. If you are young and active, surgical repair of the broken ankle is you best hope of staying active and avoiding debilitating ankle arthritis in the future.
A metatarsal fracture is a crack or break in one of the five metatarsal bones found in the foot. A suspected metatarsal fracture warrants an evaluation by a foot fracture specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room. Basically, metatarsal fractures are divided into two categories: stress fractures and traumatic fractures.
A fracture is a break in the bone. However a Lisfrancs fractures really involves the rupture of ligament (called Lisfranc’s ligament) that stabilizes the entire midfoot (an area called the tarsaometatarsal complex). When this ligament is torn, it alters the alignment bases of the metarsal bones and the cuniform bones. These injuries are very difficult to recognize and are very frequently missed. In fact, one study (for which Dr. Segler won an award from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons) showed that 98.6% of the x-ray findings suggested of these injuries were missed by board certified Emergency Room Physicians. And they are often debilitating injuries if not properly treated. All fractures of the mid-foot warrant an evaluation by a foot fracturespecialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.
Stress fractures are very small cracks in the bone. Often times, these cracks are so small they don’t even show up on an x-ray for 4-10 weeks. These tiny, hairline breaks are most often caused by repetitive stress. We see this most often in runners and triathletes. The main culprit is a rapid increase in mileage while training for long distance events. Stress fractures are also caused by osteoporosis, abnormal foot structure (such as high arches), or other foot deformities.
Most people don’t realize, but your foot is chock full of bones. In fact, you have 52 bones between the two feet. Of the26 bones in each foot, 19 are phalanges (in the toes) or metatarsal bones (thelong bones of the midfoot). Fractures (or breaks) of the metatarsal bones and toes arecommon. But just because they are coommon, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. All fractures in the feet and toes warrant an evaluation by a footspecialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.