Fracture 1st Aid: First Steps to Recovery

Before getting into this blog post on first aid for foot and ankle fractures, we want you to know our entire Houston Foot Specialists team hopes you and your family and friends were able to stay safe during the Harvey disaster. We also hope you and your loved ones are doing as best as can possibly be expected. Please know our thoughts have been (and continue to be) with you during this difficult time.

We all know our Houston community is facing a major recovery period. It won’t happen overnight, and there are certainly going to be challenges ahead, but we’re resilient and will work together to overcome those challenges. By relying on and helping each other, we are going to be alright.

Much like our community recovering after a disaster, various components in your body work together to repair itself when damage has been done. When you break a bone in your foot, ankle, or anywhere else in your body, platelets, clotting proteins, white blood cells (to fight infection), and fibroblasts all rush and gather at the site of the injury and begin the healing process. Now, your body may do a lot of the “heavy lifting” in this recovery effort, but it needs some help as well – and this is where the first aid you perform for a bone fracture enters the picture.

Taking care of broken ankles, feet, or toes, begins with keeping weight off of the affected appendage. Additionally, you should do whatever you can to avoid putting pressure on the injury and make sure you restrict any movement that causes pain.

Icing the area that contains a broken bone will help to minimize swelling in the area and decrease the pain that accompanies a fracture. When doing so, keep the ice—wrapped in a thin towel and NOT applied directly to your skin—on the affected area for up to 20 minutes at a time. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be used to assist with pain, but be sure to consult with our office before utilizing this method of pain management.

In order to prevent swelling and bruising in the area, keep your foot elevated as often as you possibly can, especially in the first couple of days following the injury. This is another way to control the swelling and pain you will likely experience.

These are certainly all important tips, but the essential action you need to take when you have, or suspect that you have, fractured toes is to visit our practice at your earliest convenience. We will examine the injury to ensure that it is indeed a break and not a condition with similar symptoms—like a severe ankle sprain—and then X-ray the area to see the extent of the damage and how it needs to be set.

From there, we will take measures to stabilize the broken bone for you. This allows it to heal in a normal manner.

If you’re physical active, ever drive a car, and/or work with heavy objects—basically, if you are a human—there’s a possibility you might break a bone in one of your toes, feet, or ankles. We hope you don’t, but remember that we are here for you if you do. Come see us as soon as possible so we can take the measures to get you back on your feet – just like an incredible city getting back on her feet after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey!

For more information about the first aid you should give to a broken bone, or any other injury—or to schedule an appointment with us—simply call (713) 467-8886 and one of our team members will be glad to help.
Categories: General, Injuries