If you experience excruciating pain in your foot, you may think you have a sprained muscle. The pain in your foot may be due to a fractured heel bone. Heel fractures can be particularly painful or troublesome. Here are possible causes of your fractured heel and what you can do about them:
How Did You Break Your Heel?
Unlike your toes, ankles, and forefoot, your heels are made of one large bone. Your heels also stabilize your body when you stand or walk on your feet. Because your heels experience so much stress, they can fracture under extreme pressure. The heel bones can also break into small pieces if you experience a traumatic event like a car accident. The injuries can crush the bone tissue in your heels.
The symptoms of a crushed or fractured heel bone can be severe. Pain and swelling are usually the first symptoms you experience from your injury. You may also notice bruising and discoloration in the skin over your heel.
To prevent foot injuries from getting worse or causing additional problems in your foot, it's essential that you seek podiatry care immediately.
What Are the Treatments for a Fractured Heel?
You can't treat a crushed or fractured heel at home. In some cases, an injured bone can become infected with bacteria. A podiatrist will generally take X-rays of the injury before they prescribe or recommend treatment. If the injury is infected, a foot specialist may instruct you to take antibiotics to clear it up.
Once the infection goes away, a foot doctor will select the best treatment for your foot. If a traumatic event caused your injury, you may expect to undergo surgery to repair it. Sometimes, soft tissues become damaged or torn during traumatic injuries. A foot surgeon can suture or reattach the tissues during the procedure.
If you experience a small fracture in your heel, a foot doctor may instruct you to wear a boot on your foot. The boot keeps your heel and foot stable until the bone mends. If you need to return to work before your foot heals, be sure to tell a doctor immediately. You may need crushes to help you get around.
The healing time for your broken or crushed heel may vary, depending on the severity of the injury. If you experience severe pain in your heel after treatment or surgery, contact a foot doctor right away. You may have an infection in the soft or hard tissues in your heel.
If you want to obtain services or need information about your painful heel, contact a podiatrist as soon as possible.