Dan Michaels, DPM
What is a Foot or Ankle Sprain or Fracture?
The feet and ankles work together to provide support and mobility to the body. A foot or ankle sprain is a soft tissue injury. Most often, a sprain occurs when an injury pulls, stretches, or tears the ligaments that connect bone to bone. A fracture is actually a break in the bone.
Injuries are the most common causes of foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Many fractures and sprains occur during sports. Football players are particularly vulnerable to foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Basketball players are prone to ankle sprains, and runners may develop stress fractures of the ankle or foot. Gymnasts and dancers may also develop stress fractures.
Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause of foot and ankle sprains and fractures.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle.
If you've hurt your foot or ankle, it's best to err on the side of caution. The acronym RICE can help you remember what to do:
Rest—Rest the affected area. Stay off the injured foot or ankle until it can be fully evaluated. Walking, running, or playing sports on an injured foot or ankle may make the injury worse.
Ice—Apply ice to the affected area as soon as possible, and reapply it for 15–20 minutes every three or four hours for the first 48 hours after injury. Ice can decrease inflammation.
Compression—Wrap an elastic bandage (such as an Ace® wrap) around the affected foot or ankle. The wrapping should be snug, but not so tight as to cut off circulation.
Elevation—Elevate the affected extremity on a couple of pillows; ideally, your foot or ankle should be higher than your heart. Keeping your foot or ankle elevated also decreases swelling.
When to Visit Dr. Michaels at the Reconstructive Foot& Ankle Institute
Dr. Michaels specializes in the care and treatment of the lower extremities. If you've injured your foot or ankle, call to make an appointment. He can determine the extent of the injury and develop a plan of care to get you back in the game (or back to your everyday life) as soon as possible.
Increased pain, swelling, bruising, redness, or difficulty walking after an injury are definite signs that it's time to see a podiatrist.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dr. Michaels will carefully examine your feet and ankles and take a complete medical history. He will also order tests, including an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI, to determine the extent of your injury. If you have a fracture that's clearly visible on X-ray, you may not need additional testing. Ultrasounds and MRIs are useful for finding soft issue injuries (including torn ligaments) and stress fractures.
Treatment will depend on your injury. If you have a broken bone, Dr. Michaels may attempt to “reduce” the fracture, which means lining up the ends of the bones so they can heal properly. (You'll be given a local anesthetic to numb the area first.) If the fracture is “unstable,” meaning that the ends of the bone do not stay in place after a reduction, surgery may be needed. Dr. Michaels can use metal plates and screws to fix broken bones.
Stress fractures are treated with rest and immobilization. You will be instructed to stay off the affected area until healing is complete. Crutches and/or a special “boot” or cast may be used to immobilize the area.
Sprains are also treated with a period of immobilization. Depending on the extent of your sprain, you may be able to resume activity fairly quickly, or you may need to wear a soft cast or special “boot” and use crutches for a period of weeks.
Professional athletes may undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments.
Oral anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can be used to decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Warming up prior to physical activity can prevent ankle sprains and fractures. So can wearing proper shoes. If you're an athlete, talk to Dr. Michaels to determine which shoes are best for your sport, and read the Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC Shoe Guide for more information. Athletic shoes should be replaced yearly; running shoes should be replaced every 300–400 miles or so.
Avoid running or walking on uneven surfaces.
To prevent infections from nail salons or spas and to provide Comprehensive Foot & Ankle Care® we are pleased to announce that we have started to perform Foot Facials or medical grade pedicures and manicures in our offices. A one hour Foot Facial is relaxing and safe. We are providing this service to you as a safe alternative to salon’s that may not sterilize their equipment or use dirty products on your feet. We use organic and/or natural products that clean and moisturize your skin and your nails. A natural nail polish with no harsh chemicals can be used or your nails can be buffed to a shine. You will enjoy a calf massage and scrub in a clean, safe and sterile environment. Nothing that touches you will touch another. Our sterilization process is so thorough that it has been published in scientific journals. We’ve analyzed every aspect of this process from the metal used in the basin, the ingredients in the products to the shape and texture of the products and instruments used. Bottom line: your feet will look and feel great and I’ll make sure you’re safe. Please call now to schedule your 1 hour Foot Facial today! A manicure and pedicure are about 1.5 hours and extremely relaxing.
Come visit one of our Centers of Excellence:
Weight loss Center
Nail Care Center/Medical Salon/Foot Facials center
Heel Pain Center
Wound Care Center
We provide Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Care® to our patients with offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland. From basic care of ingrown toenails, heel pain and warts to reconstructive procedures and management of complex pain conditions, we provide a one-stop shop for all your needs. For your convenience, all recommended medicines and foot-care products are available through our in-office store and information can be gained through our continually updated website at www.rfainstitute.com. Same day and emergency appointments are available without a wait. Our staff is approachable and knowledgeable with a willingness to help and solve your foot and ankle problems. We focus on conservative, non-surgical treatment and exhaust these options prior to recommending surgery. If you need surgery we have advanced training in all types of foot and ankle surgery to ensure your optimal outcome with an onsite ambulatory surgical center. Our providers work with you as a partner by listening to and educating you about treatment options so you can make an informed choice in your health management. We offer the latest technology in digital radiography and ultrasound equipment, electronic medical records, on site surgery center, shoe stores, medical equipment and lasers. We have a wound care center, surgery center, fall prevention center, heel pain center and nail care center on site all under one roof for your convenience. We have the latest treatments including the laser that treats toenail fungus and is cleared for this indication by the FDA.
For further information about foot or ankle conditions, contact one of our foot and ankle surgeons at the Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC. Visit us on the web at www.rfainstitute.com or make an appointment with one of our state of the art offices in Maryland:
Hagerstown 301.797.8554, 1150 Professional Court, Suite C, 21740
Frederick 301.418.6014, 2100 Old Farm Drive, Suite D, 21702
To make an appointment at our Frederick office, please call 301.418.6014. 2100 Old Farm Drive Ste. D, Frederick, MD 21702
To make an appointment at our Hagerstown office, please call 301.797.8554. 1150 Professional Court, Suite C, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Most insurance accepted but not required.
We look forward to solving your foot and ankle problems with Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Care® and treating you like a member of the family.
Dr. Dan Michaels offers Comprehensive Foot and Ankle care with offices in Hagerstown and Frederick and is dedicated to quality and compassionate care. Providing services from ingrown toenails, heel pain and warts to reconstructive procedures...more.