People come up with all kinds of excuses for avoiding a trip to the doctor. Athletes are used to pushing through the pain; they may not even know they’ve sustained an injury. Elderly people may hide their discomfort to avoid a hospital stay or burdening a loved one. The workaholic just can’t clear their busy schedule. Whatever your reason for putting off the doctor appointment, it probably doesn’t justify the potential risks you’re taking with the long-term health of your foot or ankle.
By not treating plantar fasciitis or a fracture, you risk your pain growing ever worse; blood clots, soft tissue damage, infection, tissue or bone death, and long-term disability are possible consequences. All of these injuries should be properly evaluated by your doctor:
Plantar Fasciitis - The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. It connects your heel bone to your toes; heel pain is almost always the first symptom. The longer plantar fasciitis goes untreated, the longer it takes to heal. Eventually, small tears can form, pain gets worse, and rupture is more likely. Not receiving treatment greatly increases the likelihood of developing a heel spur. EPAT treatments, custom orthotic inserts and other strategies will have you back on your feet without further consequences.
Big toe - A fractured big toe can turn to into a big problem if not treated properly. If the bone grows back the wrong way, surgery is required. A badly healed break of the big toe can affect your gait, causing secondary issues in your back, hips and knees.
Sesamoid - These tiny bones are located in the ball of the foot, embedded in a tendon under the big toe. An acute fracture is caused by trauma. A chronic sesamoid fracture creates long-lasting pain in the ball of the foot. Although these are not large bones, the foot needs to be immobilized. If not medically treated, sesamoid bone fractures can cause decreasing strength and motion of the big toe, as well as a lesion beneath the ball of the foot, difficulty and pain while walking, and long-term arthritis.
Talus - The talus is a small, dome-shaped bone between the heel bone (calcaneus), the tibia and the fibula (the two major bones of the lower leg). These bones form the ankle joint. Injuries to the talus are commonly related to high-energy, high-impact sporting accidents. If a fracture to the talus doesn’t heal, your foot function will be compromised and you will have chronic pain; the bone can collapse.
If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury and have not been evaluated by a podiatrist, keep the long game in mind. Don’t let your foot or ankle problems limit your life and define your future. Call Podiatry Associates P.C. at 303-805-5156 or visit footdoctorscolorado.com for an appointment with Dr. O and her experienced team. We have four convenient office locations: Cherry Creek, Aurora, Parker, and Castle Pines.