Foot and ankle trauma is all too common in the fall when many of us ramp up our exercise regimens as temperatures become more moderate. When faced with what to do and where to go for foot and ankle injuries such as a twisted ankle, broken toe, or open laceration, here are some tips:
- Today’s podiatrists have been educated and trained to diagnose and treat injuries of the foot and ankle.
- Most foot and ankle injuries can be evaluated and treated by the podiatrist in his or her office, saving a trip to the emergency room.
- Most podiatrists have X-ray equipment in their offices, so they can determine if your foot or ankle is fractured or just sprained.
- If you decide to go to an emergency room, ask to see a podiatrist.
Wait times and insurance co-payments are often less in your podiatrist’s office than in an emergency room. If in doubt, call your podiatrist to determine where you should go if you injure your foot or ankle.
“RICE” – what to do if you injured your foot
If an injury or accident does occur, the steps you can take to help yourself until you can reach your podiatric physician are easy to remember if you can recall the word “rice.”
Rest. Restrict your activity and get off your foot/ankle.
Ice. Gently place a plastic bag of ice wrapped in a towel on the injured area in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle.
Compression. Lightly wrap an Ace bandage around the area, taking care not to pull it too tight.
Elevation. To reduce swelling and pain, sit in a position that allows you to elevate the foot/ankle higher than your waist.
Foot and ankle emergencies happen every day. Broken bones, dislocations, sprains, contusions, infections, and other serious injuries can occur at any time. Early attention is vitally important.
Did you sustain a foot or ankle injury? Contact Dr. Wichman today to get advice.
Doctors of podiatric medicine are podiatric physicians and surgeons, also known as podiatrists, qualified by their education, training, and experience to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.