Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Heel Fracture

It takes a tremendous amount of force to fracture a heel bone. Such force is not commonly sustained. An automobile accident or a fall from considerable height are possible causes. If such force has been exerted on the heel, it is likely to coincide with back injury as well.

Symptoms of a heel fracture are pain, swelling, and an inability to bear any weight on the injured foot. The pain could be felt on the outside of the ankle or on the bottom of the heel. A doctor will use x-rays to diagnose the condition. A computed tomography (CT) scan may also be used. The doctor will check for nerve damage as well.

The doctor will determine if the injury will respond best to surgical or nonsurgical treatment methods. Nonsurgical treatment includes elevating the foot and the periodic application of ice packs. A bulky dressing will be applied to eliminate the risk of the bone shifting. A splint may be used to restrict movement and support the injured foot.

If the bone has shifted due to the injury, surgery may be required. A metal plate and screws may be used to stabilize the bone. In order to promote healing, a bone graft may be used. After surgery, the foot will be bandaged and splinted.

With nonsurgical treatment, the heel fracture should heal in six to eight weeks. Recovery from surgical treatment often requires at least ten weeks. It may take up to a year for the heel fracture to heal completely. Even after the heel fracture is healed, the person may continue to experience foot problems. This is due to the extreme force to which the foot was subjected. Orthopedics or a cane may need to be used to treat the foot problems or reduce the amount of pressure exerted on the heel while walking and standing.


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