Accidents happen. Unfortunately, sometimes fractures (broken bones) are the result. At Colorado Podiatry Consultants, we are accustomed to mending the pieces. We regularly deal with fractures resulting from work related or sports related injuries or those from just plain bad luck at home. There are 26 bones in the human foot (3 in the ankle) and any of those bones can be fractured. Among the most common fractures that we see are:
- Ankle fractures: often result from a twisting motion that extends the ankle beyond its normal range of motion. Usually associated with soft tissue injury (ligament sprains or tendon/membrane tears). Treatment may be non-surgical (casting) with more minor fractures or surgical with moderate to severe fractures. Physical therapy is often necessary as part of rehab.
- Calcaneal (heel bone) fractures: generally related from a drop from a height (e.g. falls from ladders). The talus bone above the heel bone is driven into the weakest portion of the heel bone often causing it to break into multiple pieces. Most heel fractures of this nature can be fixed surgically. However, these can be devastating injuries with a high association of arthritis developing years later despite surgical repair. Often result in widening or twisted attitude of heel bone after healing.
- Lisfranc fractures: these usually result from a twisting fall as the foot remains in a fixed position (think of a fall away from a horse as the foot remains in the stirrup). While called a “fracture” these types of injuries are generally involving injury to a ligament in the foot. The Lisfranc ligament extends from the medial cuneiform bone to the base of the second metatarsal bone. This stabilizing ligament, when ruptured, can disrupt the stability of the bones of the midfoot causing them to displace and shift position. Correction of this problem is often surgical with casting immobilization thereafter.
- Jones fractures: fractures of the 5th metatarsal base resulting from a sudden internal twisting motion. This causes the peroneus brevis tendon to pull a piece of bone from the 5th metatarsal base to create an “avulsion fracture”. Correction can be casting or surgical pinning.