Foot / Ankle Trauma

Causes

Strains, sprains and fractures are the most prevalent foot and ankle injuries. Ankle and foot trauma often occur during sports or recreational activities, but people also commonly suffer these injuries while walking or during normal activities at work or home. Advancing age and repetitive stress can also make a person more susceptible to these injuries.

Strains, stretches or tears in the muscles or tendons are typically the result of a fall or trauma to the ankle or foot.

Bone fractures, or breaks, often occur during slips and falls, but they also can be the result of a direct impact to the foot or ankle, such as from an automobile accident.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In diagnosing ankle and foot trauma, the doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical examination. If the examination suggests the possibility of a fracture, X-rays of the injured area will be ordered. Sometimes, a CT scan or MRI can be helpful in confirming a diagnosis.

Fractures to the foot or ankle usually require wearing a cast or walking boot for several weeks. Surgery may be necessary for severe sprains that completely tear the ligament and for unstable fractures in which the bones cannot stay properly aligned to heal. Physical therapy exercises are often recommended after an injury to the foot or ankle has healed.