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Fractures


Broken Toes
Broken Toes are Common 
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.
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All About Foot Fractures

Most people don’t realize, but your foot is chock full of bones. In fact, you have 52 bones between the two feet. Of the 26 bones in each foot, 19 are phalanges (in the toes) or metatarsal bones (the long bones of the midfoot). Fractures (or breaks) of the metatarsal bones and toes are common. 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 foot specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.

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All About Stress Fractures

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.

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Metatarsal Fracture

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.

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Fifth Metatarsal Fractures
Fractures (breaks) are common in the fifth metatarsal—the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe. Two types of fractures that often occur in the fifth metatarsal are:
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All About Toe Fractures

Most people don’t realize, but your foot is chock full of bones. In fact, you have 52 bones between the two feet. Of the 26 bones in each foot, 19 are phalanges (in the toes) or metatarsal bones (the long bones of the midfoot). Fractures (or breaks) of the metatarsal bones and toes are common. But just because they are common, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. All fractures in toes warrant an evaluation by a foot specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.

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Lisfrancs Fracture explained by San Francisco Podiatrist

What Is a  Lisfrancs Fracture? 

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 fracture specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room. 

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Midfoot Fractures

What Is a  Mid-Foot Fracture? 

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 fracture specialist, even if initial treatment has been started in the emergency room.  

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Calcaneal (Heel Bone) Fracture

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.

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Ankle Fractures

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.

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Related Articles

Where Does It Hurt?

 Click in the  painful area to find out what is causing your foot pain.

Big Toe Joint Pain, Bunion

Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Planter Fashitis

Midfoot Pain, Upper Foot

Arch Pain

Ball of Foot Pain, Nueroma

Medial Ankle Pain, inside ankle

Tailors Bunion, little toe hurts

Lateral Ankle Pain

Side of foot hurts at the fifth toe base.

Achilles tendon pain, tendonitis