Feet and ankles have their own set of old wives tales. Don’t believe everything you hear! If you have any foot and ankle ailments, it’s important to get the proper treatment in a timely manner. The longer you let your feet and ankles suffer, the more painful your injury or ailment will get and the longer it will take to heal. It will also probably be more expensive – so make sure you have the right information! Here is a short list of a few myths to steer clear of.
- If your ankle or foot was broken, you wouldn’t be able to walk. – This is not true at all. Depending on how high your pain tolerance is, you may be able to walk (albeit in pain) on a broken bone. Every step you take with a broken ankle or foot will infinitely worsen your injury so if you’re not really sure, you should err on the side of caution and stay off of your feet until your doctor tells you otherwise. A broken bone that doesn’t heal properly can cause serious and unnecessary chronic pain.
- A broken toe will heal on its own. – Have you ever seen the pictures of pro football players whose fingers have fused back together at an awkward angle? That’s what happens when you don’t let your bones heal the right way. If your toe is broken, you need to get an x-ray as soon as possible to assess the damage. Your podiatrist will then give you the proper treatment so that you can get normal functionality back as soon as possible. Also remember, once your bones have healed a certain way, it’s much more difficult (and painful) to fix a misalignment.
- Any ankle injury can be fixed with a wrap. – This is definitely not the case and is one of the leading causes of re-injury and long-term injury in your ankles. Ankle wraps are not strong enough to help your ankles bear weight if you’ve had a serious sprain or worse. An ankle wrap can also give you the false impression that your injury is not that serious.
- A fracture is less serious than a break. – Sorry to give you the bad news but, a fracture IS a break. It just sounds less severe… but it’s really not. Don’t take a fracture less seriously because you don’t think it’s that big of a deal!
Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients with foot and ankle ailments for over seventeen years. Call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 if you have any questions or make an appointment here.