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Broken Foot (cont.)

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What are the complications of a broken foot?

As with any injury, complications may occur.

  • Broken bones may fail to heal, causing a non-union that may require surgery to repair.
  • If the fracture line enters a joint surface, arthritis may develop, even if the joint surface has been aligned by surgery.
  • Open fractures may be complicated by infection and damage to underlying structures like tendons, arteries, and nerves.
  • Though it is uncommon, crush injuries to the foot may cause significant swelling in the tight spaces of the foot, leading to compartment syndrome. Should the pressure in one of these compartments rise above the patient's blood pressure, blood flow to the rest of the foot may be compromised. This is a surgical emergency and fasciotomies, incisions into the foot compartment, are performed to allow space for the swelling to occur, relieve the pressure, and restore blood supply to the foot.

Can a broken foot be prevented?

The foot is placed under considerable stress on a daily basis, absorbing the pounding of walking, running, and jumping. Poorly-constructed and -cushioned shoes and obesity help contribute to stress fractures and general instability of the foot.

High-impact sports that include twisting and direct blows to the feet increase the risk of fracture. Appropriate protective equipment will help decrease the risk of injury.

Certain occupations increase the risk of foot injury. These include the construction trades in which weights may be dropped on a foot, or falls from height may occur.

People with osteoporosis or peripheral neuropathy may have increased risk of foot injury. For these people, it is important to decrease the clutter around the house to prevent injury from falling. It is also helpful to limit the number of throw rugs in a home that can cause a person to trip and fall.

REFERENCE:

UpToDate. Toe fractures in adults.

UpToDate. Foot fractures (other than metatarsal or phalangeal) in children.

UpToDate. Metatarsal and toe fractures in children.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/6/2013

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Broken Foot - Cause Question: How did you break your foot?
Broken Foot - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience when you broke your foot?
Broken Foot - Diagnosis Question: What tests and exams did you receive that led to a diagnosis of a broken foot?
Broken Foot - Treatment Question: What types of treatment did you receive when you broke your foot? Did you wear a cast or Reese shoe?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/broken_foot/article.htm

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