There’s nothing worse than when your child breaks his or her foot, toe or ankle. Your child is in pain. Camp and other summer fun is probably off the table. Now, you're worried about what to do next. And you want a quick diagnosis, along with a plan to help him or her recover.
As a practice experienced in pediatric foot care, we wish we could protect your children from injuries. But of course, we can't--and neither can you. Here's what we can do, though: get them the quickest care possible if you suspect they've broken a foot bone. And what's the best way to do that? Skip the emergency room and head to your Houston podiatrist's office! We offer in-office diagnostic x-rays, and a gentle bedside manner to help make this scary situation as easy as it can be for your family.
How Podiatrists Treat Kids Broken Foot Bones
If your child bumped, twisted or sustained a trauma to his or her foot, a bone could break. Even if they can walk!
Look for common foot fracture symptoms such as swelling, tenderness to touch and pain. With a foot fracture, you might also notice bruising. But here's the tricky part: there might be no sign at all!
You see, there are 26 bones in your foot. And some are very small. Which is why, depending on the location of the fracture, your child's symptoms could be subtle. And, I can't say this enough: he or she might be able to walk.
Given this confusion, what's a worried parent to do? The only way to diagnose a foot fracture is with an x-ray. And, if you want to avoid a long emergency room wait, come to the podiatrist! We have in-office x-rays. And lots of experience diagnosing foot fractures. Which means we can detect small breaks that could be missed by an ER x-ray tech.
Treating a Broken Foot or Ankle
If we diagnose your child with a broken bone, the next step will be immobilization. Depending on the location of the broken bone, and the severity, we may be able to use a walking boot. This will help your child get through the day while allowing the broken bone to heal.
Now, if that broken bone looks unstable (like it might move or shatter) your child won't be able to put weight on it. That means he or she will have to stay off that foot. Either by using crutches, or a special scooter designed for broken feet. (That's often our preference, since the scooter has comfy padding. And it's easier to use than crutches, particularly for young kids who might not have the strength or coordination for crutches. Our apologies in advance if that scooter becomes a new, favorite toy that dings up your walls! Heck, even Britney Spears made that decision. So cut your kid some slack if the same happens in your house.)
Also, if your child has a displaced fracture, he or she may need surgery. (With a displaced fracture, the broken bone has moved away from the other half of the bone. It needs to be surgically replaced and pinned so it can heal.)
No matter what type of treatment we recommend, your child will likely face more downtime with a broken foot. And if you're trying to watch kids' screen time hours like so many of us are, you'll need some help getting through recovery. Which is where our kids' broken foot book club could come in handy!
5 Books for Kids with Broken Feet
If your kid has a broken bone and is looking for a distraction, these books are great. Some can help them understand what’s going on with the injury. Because these great books are written for kids in the exact same situation! If you have any other suggestions, please be sure to share them in the comments section! And don't forget to share your reviews, to help out all those other kids stuck recovering.
By Judith Wolf Mandell
This author was inspired to write this book when her preschool-aged granddaughter broke her femur. The poor girl ended up in a spica cast for a month! The book is designed with the simple goal of cheering up grumpy, casted kids.
By Joy Masoff
This informative book is for preschoolers. It will help kids better understand every kind of injury, from a broken bone to a scraped knee. All while providing hours of interactive, sensory-stimulating activities. Bonus for casted kids: the book lets them sign a cast, then lift a flap to see what a broken bone really looks like!
By Vicki Cobb
This is for older children, (3-6 graders). The book uses science to transform the body’s healing process into an epic, graphically pleasing saga. It's full of medically accurate information (and awesome comic-book like illustrations!)
The Toy Hospital
By Elaine Mills
Oh no! Squirrel falls out of his tree house and breaks his leg. Next comes a visit to the hospital—and a recovery from a broken leg. All of which provides playful fodder for the adept illustrator’s talents.
A Broken Leg for Bonk
By Maribeth Boelts
Not only will this book help emerging readers work on their fluency, it’s also got great ideas for keeping busy while your foot or leg are immobilized. Bonus—you can enjoy a free download with this link!
If you're concerned that your child broke his or her foot, don't wait and worry. Instead, call Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. Right away! We have a digital x-ray that will allow us to look at your child's foot with minimal radiation exposure. Let's make sure everything is okay before walking on it makes it worse.