Trauma: When Sudden Forces Cause Fractures

We treat many different foot and ankle conditions for our patients at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida. With the numerous conditions and injuries sustained, it makes sense there are also a variety of root causes for them. In some cases, the problem is an inherited structural issue (bunions, hammertoes, flatfeet). Others are problems caused by microorganisms (fungal toenails, athlete’s foot). Still others stem from diseases and disorders (diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis).

Another major cause for foot and ankle issues is physical trauma.

What is Physical Trauma?

People tend to be quick to associate trauma with blunt forces, but trauma can refer to any injury that has a sudden onset and requires medical attention. Often, trauma is a serious medical concern, with potential problems including blood loss and severe pain. In addition to blunt force injuries, burns and cuts are other forms of trauma.

Typically, we will refer to the injuries resulting from trauma as “acute.” These are different from chronic injuries, which are ones that develop after exercising or playing a sport for a long period of time. Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are examples of chronic conditions.Foot Trauma

Types of Fractures Caused by Blunt Force

Blunt force can often, but not always, lead to a broken bone. There are different types of fractures which can be sustained by physical trauma, including:

  • Simple – The broken bone has not pierced the skin.
  • Stable – The fractured ends of the bone line up in a normal fashion and will heal correctly.
  • Transverse – The fracture line of the bone is horizontal.
  • Oblique – The fracture line of the bone is angled.
  • Compound – Skin has been punctured by either the broken bone itself or by the physical trauma that caused the break.
  • Comminuted – The bone has shattered into three or more pieces.

The Healing Process for Bone Fractures

The body repairs broken bones in three stages:

1.Inflammation – This begins when the fracture happens and is a necessary stage for providing blood to the injured area. Once there, the blood begins to clot in order to provide an initial framework and stability as the body starts to produce new tissue.

2.Bone production – In this second stage, clotted blood starts being replaced by cartilage and fibrous tissues, which, in turn, will be replaced with solid bone tissue.

3.Bone remodeling – During the final stage, bone tissue develops and becomes dense and compact. At this point, circulation resumes at its normal levels.

Various factors play a role in dictating exactly how long the entire healing process will take. In most cases, a broken bone needs roughly 6 to 8 weeks for a significant degree of healing. Adult bones take longer to heal then children’s bones.

Complete Foot Care in Florida

No matter if your foot or ankle issue is caused by physical trauma or has another origin, you can find the effective care and treatment you need at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida. Our skilled, knowledgeable podiatrists are ready to listen, determine the root cause of the issue, and create a treatment plan to relieve painful symptoms and restore functionality.

For more information on trauma and the treatment options we provide, or if you have any questions about our practice, give us a call at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County). You can also request an appointment with any of our Orlando, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, Tavares, and Lake Mary offices online right now.

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