Top 5 Minor Foot Injuries

It doesn’t take long after a quick pick up game of basketball, to feel the beginnings of a blister forming.  Contusions or bruising are not strangers to many of us either.  If fact, most of us have experienced these common foot injuries discussed in this article, but are we treating them properly?  Also, what are the potential complications that can arise from improper management of these injuries?  Worry no more! The experts at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists have you covered (literally when it comes to blisters)!  If you have any of these common foot injuries feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander of Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.

1) Blisters

Blisters are often the bane of existence to most runners and athletes.  This is especially true for the beginner athletes or who are just starting out.  Blisters are caused by shearing forces or friction that result in fluid accumulation just under the skin.  The good news is that most do not scar.  Proper treatment protocol is not to pop it due to infection risk.  It is best to see your local podiatrist who can drain the fluid and properly cover and protect it.  If it has popped already, the blister can be cultured for infection, and if necessary an antibiotic may be prescribed.  Blister prevention entails proper protection of vulnerable areas, such as padding, taping, or moleskin. 

2) Abrasions

An abrasion is none other than scraped skin.  Depending on the extent and depth of the scraping, scarring may occur.  For minor scrapes of the foot, clean and flush the area with water, apply a topical antibiotic, and cover.  More severe abrasions, such as road rash, may require removal of debris and dead tissue, flushing the wound with sterile or antibiotic fluid, and local wound care by your podiatrist.

3) Lacerations

Cuts to the skin are open wounds that may require closure using surgical suture.  Your Podiatrist can evaluate the laceration to determine the location and depth.  This is vital to ensure that underlying structures such as bone, tendons, and nerves have not been damaged.  Often an MRI may need to be ordered to determine the extent of the damage.  In addition, a Podiatrist can repair damaged structures and guard against potential infection.

4) Contusion/Hematoma

Bruising can occur due to blunt trauma without penetration of the skin.  Often the results are redness and swelling.  A hematoma results from bleeding into the soft tissue spaces under the skin.  In addition to trauma, these can arise after surgery.   Often times when an object is dropped on the toe, a hematoma can form underneath the toenail.  In this scenario, it is important to have X-ray’s performed to eliminate any possibility of a fracture.  If the hematoma is large enough, your podiatrist may drain it.

5) Burns

Here in Phoenix, it goes without saying that there are a lot of hot surfaces!  These can be in the form of hot asphalt, sidewalks, sand, playgrounds, basketball courts, etc. Therefore, It is not uncommon for burns to occur of the bottoms of the feet when we misjudge how hot a surface may be.  Depending on the severity of the burns (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th) determines the course of treatment.  If you have 2nd or 3rd degree burns on the bottoms of your feet don’t hesitate to visit your podiatrist.  He or she can properly treat the burn wound to prevent infection and promote proper skin healing.

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