Sprains or tearing of a ligament can occur at a joint, most common on the outside of the ankle. Usually, a person will roll onto the outside of the foot and the ligaments of the ankle are torn. Most often, conservative treatment including rest, ice, elevation, immobilization and compression will heal the sprain in roughly three weeks. More severe sprains may require surgery to repair the torn ligaments. This is done to maintain strength and motion to a joint.
There are two types of tendon injuries:
1. Intra Tendon tear- this occurs over time due to excess stress or strain on a tendon and poor walking mechanics where the tendons are working over time to align the foot and lower leg. This treatment involves immobilization, orthotic management for realignment of the foot when you walk, physical therapy and long term tendonitis can respond with PRP injections. If unsuccessful, surgery is needed to repair the tendon.
2. Rupture- A rupture is seen when the tendon actually breaks in half. Usually from trauma such as an object cutting into the foot and slicing a tendon or during sports. It is common for an Achilles tendon to rupture in the back of the heel and this is corrected by surgical repair. Recovery ranges between three to twelve weeks.
When a bone breaks healing can take up to 12 weeks. Breaks in a toe usually do not need to be repaired and simply taping two toes together can aid in the healing and decrease pain. Swelling in the toe region is the main complaint with these injuries and can take months to resolve.
More severe breaks in the foot or ankle may need surgical repair to hold the bones fragments together and allow appropriate healing. Simple hardware techniques are used to repair the break with screws or plates.
An x-ray is taken in the office and at times an MRI is needed. Emergencies will be seen immediately.