We’ve all been there—stubbing your toe, tripping on the sidewalk, or simply misjudging a step and landing awkwardly on your foot. In these moments, it’s easy to just brush off the pain and carry on with our day. But sometimes, foot injuries can be more serious than they seem at first.
Foot Injury Signs to Look Out For
Here are a few signs that your foot injury needs more attention than just walking it off.
1. Foot Pain That Lasts More Than a Few Days
If you’ve stubbed your toe or sprained your ankle, it’s normal to experience discomfort for a day or two. But if the pain persists for more than a few days, or if it gets worse instead of better, it’s time to seek medical attention. The same goes for any other type of foot pain that doesn’t subside within a few days.
2. Swelling, Bruising, or Redness That Spreads Up the Leg
Swelling in the foot is also common after an injury, but if the swelling is accompanied by bruising or redness that spreads up the leg, this could be a sign of something more serious, such as a blood clot. If you experience this type of swelling after an injury, head to the nearest medical emergency facility right away.
3. Numbness or Tingling in the Foot or Toes
If you have an injury that causes numbness or tingling in your foot or toes, this could be a sign of nerve damage. Nerve damage can often be repaired with surgery, but it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible so that the proper course of treatment can be determined.
Foot Injuries that Require Medical Attention
Foot injuries can range from a simple sprain to a broken bone. While some foot injuries can be treated at home with rest, ice, and elevation, others require medical attention. Some of the most common foot injuries that require medical attention include:
1. Sprained ankle
A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising. Most sprained ankles can be treated with home remedies, but severe sprains may require further treatment like immobilisation or surgery.
2. Ankle or foot fracture
A fracture is a break in the bone. Ankle and foot fractures are usually caused by high-impact trauma, such as a fall or car accident. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, and bruising. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the fracture, but may include immobilisation, surgery, or both.
Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the metatarsal bones in the feet. This condition is often caused by repetitive stress on the feet, such as from running or dancing. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, surgery and physical therapy may also be recommended.
4. Flat foot
Flat foot occurs when the arch of the foot collapses. This can occur due to an injury, arthritis, or simply due to ageing. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the feet and ankles. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition but may include shoe inserts, physical therapy, or surgery.
5. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The condition is often caused by overuse or repetitive stress on the feet. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, stretching exercises, and over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, physical therapy may also be recommended. Night splints or orthotic devices may also be helpful in managing symptoms.
A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. This deformity causes the big toe to point outward away from the foot. Bunions can be caused by genetics, ill-fitting shoes, or arthritis. Treatment involves wearing comfortable shoes and taking over-the-counter pain medication for symptom relief. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to correct the deformity.
Seek Medical Treatment from a Foot and Ankle Doctor in Singapore
In most cases, foot injuries aren’t cause for alarm and will heal on their own with some rest and home care. But if you experience severe pain or difficulty walking, or any of the symptoms or injuries listed above, it’s important to see a doctor so that they can properly diagnose and treat your injury. Ignoring these signs could lead to further damage. If you’re ever unsure about whether or not your foot injury needs medical attention, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and see a doctor just to be safe.
You can visit an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist like OrthofootMD in Singapore for foot and ankle pain and injuries. Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is an orthopaedic surgeon with a specialist interest in lower limb orthopaedic conditions. Prior to establishing his private practice, Dr Gowreeson was Chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Dr Gowreeson can provide a diagnosis, treatment and surgery options for your injury or condition. Set up a consultation with Dr Gowreeson today.