Broken Foot

Did you know that every human foot has a total of 26 bones in it? Many people don’t realize that there are this many bones comprising what they walk on every day. Broken into three categories, the bones of the foot include:

  • The Hindfoot – The talus, which is where the foot attaches to the leg bone, and the calcaneus, which is the heel itself.
  • The Midfoot – There are five very small bones in the midfoot (between the ankle and toes). These include cuboid, navicular, and cuneiform bones.
  • The Forefoot – This includes 19 different bones including the toes and the bones that go through the foot up to the toes.

Because there are so many different small bones in the foot, and since we put pressure on them every day, fractures and a broken foot are common.

The Way Bones Break

For the most part, bones have to be crushed, twisted, or bent at an abnormal angle to break. However, there is another type of break in the foot called stress fracture. This occurs simply because of the stress that can be put on the foot every day. The most common types of broken foot include:

  • Broken toes that occur when a person accidentally kicks a hard surface.
  • Broken heels occur when someone jumps or falls from a height and lands on their heels or feet.
  • Broken ankles that occur from twists or abnormal turns.

Generally, these types of breaks occur when there is direct trauma, like an accident, such as accidentally kicking something, something heavy getting dropped on the foot, or sudden twists.

Susceptible Individuals

By far, any type of broken foot or bone is most common in children. That’s because the bones are not as strong, are still developing, and do not have fully developed supportive muscle tissue. However, adults who dance, get involved in gymnastics, stand on their feet all day, and hike are more prone to foot breaks as well.

Elderly individuals are especially prone to broken bones. That’s because the bones themselves become more brittle. A trip or slip in a healthy young adult may only result in a bruise or soreness. In an elderly individual, it can lead to a break.

Symptoms of Broken Feet

The symptoms of a broken foot include pain that makes it nearly impossible to walk. If the break is in the foot itself, the person may not be able to walk at all. If it is in the toe, then walking with a limp may be possible. Swelling, bruising, redness, and tenderness in a certain area of the foot is common as well. If the break is especially severe, then the foot could be misshapen or the bone may actually come through the skin.

Diagnosis

If the fracture is very small or minor, then there are times when the break will not even show up on x-rays. However, doctors are usually able to diagnose a broken foot. In some cases, nothing more than casting or splinting is needed. In other cases, surgery will be required to correctly position the bones for healing.

Broken bones of many types are common in nursing homes. That’s because elderly individuals are prone to falls and slips. And, if there is not enough staff, then the patients may not be properly looked after. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and they have suffered from a broken foot, first make sure they receive proper medical care. After that, you may wish to contact an attorney who specializes in elderly abuse or nursing home neglect. There may be a case to be followed through with, and it is vital to see that your loved one’s rights are looked after.

Resources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/broken_foot/article.htm

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/broken_foot/page5_em.htm

 

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