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Foot Fracture In Adults

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Foot Fracture In Adults (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

A foot fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your foot. Foot fractures are commonly caused by trauma, falls, or repeated stress injuries.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • During surgery, the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels in your foot may be damaged. You may have numbness or weakness in your foot and toes. Your foot may not heal properly or work as well as it did before your injury. Screws, nails, or pins used during your surgery may come loose, and you may need another surgery. You may get a blood clot in your leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.

  • Without treatment, your broken foot may not heal. If your fracture heals on its own, your foot may be deformed. You may not be able to move your foot as well as you did before your injury. You may have pain, weakness, or loss of feeling in your foot. You may be at risk for blood clots. You may have tissue damage, and you may get an infection. Severe infections may lead to a bone infection, and you may need your foot amputated.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Tetanus shot: This is a shot of medicine to prevent you from getting tetanus. You may need this if you have breaks in your skin from your injury. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years.

Treatment:

Treatment depends on which foot bone was broken and what kind of fracture you have. You may need any of the following treatments:

  • Boot, cast, or splint: A boot, cast, or splint may be put on your foot and lower leg to decrease your foot movement. These work to hold the broken bones in place, decrease pain, and prevent further damage to your foot.

  • Surgery: You may need surgery if you have a severe foot fracture or if your fracture does not heal with other treatments. If you have an open fracture, you may need debridement before your surgery. This is when your caregiver removes damaged and infected tissue and cleans your wound. Debridement is done to help prevent infection and improve healing. You may need any of the following:

    • External fixation: Your caregiver will put screws through your skin and into your broken bones. The screws will be secured to a device outside of your foot. External fixation holds your bones together so they can heal.

    • Open reduction and internal fixation: During this surgery, your caregiver will make an incision in your foot to straighten your broken bones. He may use wires, screws and metal plates, or nails to hold your broken bones together.

    • Pin fixation: Your caregiver may need to use metal wire pins to straighten the broken bones in your foot. The pins will hold the broken pieces of bone together. Pins will be placed through your skin and into your bone using a small drill.

  • Traction: Traction pulls on the bones to put them back into place. A pin may be put in your bone or cast and hooked to a traction device. Weights are hung from the traction device to help pull the bones into the right position.

Physical therapy:

Your caregiver may have you start physical therapy while you are in the hospital. A physical therapist will help you with exercises to improve the movement of your foot. The exercises can also help make your foot bones and muscles stronger.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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