Give Us a Fracture

What’s that old joke? — “A man walks into a bar…” There is, of course, a vast repertoire of endings to this classic, but we heard one the other day that had a neat, one-liner twist: A synonym strolls into a tavern.

Okay, maybe it’s meant just for English majors? Well, it got us here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center thinking about words and how we use them.

A synonym, of course, is a word closely related in meaning to another word. The two can be used interchangeably, like walking and strolling. In the podiatry office, we can say that a patient fractured his ankle or he broke it. It means the same thing, although in either case it’s safe to say this man isn’t going to be walking/strolling into a bar/tavern without some kind of medical intervention.

The fracture determines the treatment

It’s possible to break any of the 26 bones of the foot and ankle, commonly through an accident like tripping and falling or a blow to the foot which happen while playing sports.

A bone can break in a number of ways, from a small crack (stress fracture) to a complete separation. The severity of the break determines the type of treatment and can include

  • a rigid cast;
  • a functional cast (allows some movement);
  • surgery to repair the bones and, if necessary, any surrounding muscle or tissues that were also damaged.

How long it takes to recover from a broken ankle or foot also depends on how badly you broke it and can range from a few weeks to several months.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you’ve broken your foot but can’t imagine how it happened, it could be an early sign of osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that requires a doctor’s attention. For attention to fractures and all other injuries of the foot and ankle, call board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM. Dr. Wilhelm will apply his many years of experience to get you back on your feet, walking and strolling wherever your day may take you.

Call us at our office in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000 or click here to make an appointment online.

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