This week I saw a patient who twisted his ankle a couple of days before while playing basketball. It hurt at first, but he told me in the office that the pain was about a 4 out of 10. He was able to wear his shoes and tolerate the pain when he was walking. He didn't think it was very bad, since he was able to walk on it, but felt it was worth getting checked out.
When I saw him, the foot was a bit swollen and bruised, but it really didn't look so bad! There was a little bit of pain to the touch, but nothing that made him jump. I took some x-rays to see what was up. Well, he wasn't imagining the pain that he had. The x-ray showed that he suffered a partial fracture at the base of his 5th metatarsal bone. This is not an insignificant injury.
When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments that support the ankle are often damaged. What also happens is a sudden tension on the tendon that courses down the side of the ankle. The tension is strong enough to break the bone that it is attached to. Often times, it results in a complete fracture of the 5th metatarsal base, which most often requires foot surgery to heal. My patient was fortunate where the foot fracture was not complete. Because there was significant weakening of the bone, it is important to treat this fracture aggressively so it doesn't fully break and require surgery to fix it.
Even with a complete break of a bone in your foot, you still will be able to walk on your foot. Sure, it will be painful, but don't discount the possibility that you fractured a bone. It is vital to visit your podiatrist in Houston to have the foot evaluated for a broken bone. The best chance that you have to heal the fracture without surgery is to get it checked immediately.
My patient is fortunate to get off pretty easy with this injury. He'll wear a fracture boot for the next 6-8 weeks and I expect him to make a full recovery. Don't take the chance! If you have had an injury, whether you suspect a broken bone or not, get it checked by your Houston podiatrist to make sure you have the best treatment possible.