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Foot Fractures and Sprains: What's the Difference?

August 19, 2020

When people injure their foot or ankle, they first need to know if it's broken or just sprained. In general, a break requires immediate attention, while the treatment of a sprain is less time sensitive. Only a physician, who will perform a thorough evaluation, can determine the nature and extent of the damage.

At the office of Taub Podiatry, our professionals are highly skilled at diagnosing sprains and fractures, and we are committed to restoring you to optimum foot health.

Sprains happen when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle depend on the severity of the injury.

They may include:

  • pain, especially when you bear weight on the foot.
  • tenderness when you touch the ankle.
  • swelling and bruising.
  • restricted range of motion.
  • instability in the ankle.
  • a popping sensation or sound at the time of injury.

Some sprains involve just a little swelling that resolves in a week or so. Others are more severe and can take two to three months to heal.

A broken foot is an injury to the bone. The causes range from a car accident to a simple misstep or fall. Types and the seriousness of fractures can vary, from tiny cracks in your bones to skin-piercing breaks.

If you have a broken foot, some of these signs may present themselves with:

  • immediate, throbbing pain
  • pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest
  • swelling and bruising
  • tenderness
  • deformity
  • difficulty in walking or bearing weight

Treatment depends on the fracture's site, severity and complexity. A severely broken foot may require surgery to implant plates, rods or screws into the broken bone to maintain proper position during healing.

Taub Podiatry is a trusted partner in care. We are committed to helping you maintain healthy, pain-free feet. We provide the highest quality care for a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to call us today.

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Foot Doctor in Port St. Lucie