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Banged my right foot on the inner side of the foot against my sons wooden bed.

by Dave
(Fort Myers Fl)

I was in my older sons room cleaning up and watching my toddler, when he bolted towards the stairs, i reacted quickly and went after him, in a freak incident, I took one step with my left foot and the right swung behind me and slammed flush on my sons wooden bed. I thought I hit my ankle and just felt a pain. I continued on for about an hour and then my ankle started to tighten up and I couldn't walk. there is no black and blue and the only indication is the pain and a small red spot where I must have made impact below the ankle on that other bone and a pain right across the foot to the other side. if I bend the foot up a bit it hurts, but if I twist it from side to side I feel more pain. I can't put any pressure on the foot to walk, I iced it right away and have it bandaged and elevated. that was yesterday . morning, I took advil and the pain is not as bad but not better. I can put a little bit of weight on it but not enough to start walking. I unfortunately can not go to the doctor because I was recently laid off and do not have insurance. I can not afford any medical bills at this point. I am not sure if it can be a deep bone bruise, small fracture, severely sprained, or ligaments damage. I know it is smarter to get it checked, but I am in an unfortunately situation.


RESPONSE
Hi Dave,
I understand your financial situation as it is all too common these days but the only way you are going to know the extent of damage you did to your foot and ankle is with an x-ray and medical evaluation.
One option you have is to call around your area and see if there are any foot specialists who offer a discount for patients paying cash with no insurance (we do that in my office). You may be surprised to find that there are actually some caring doctors out there. If you do that I would recommend you see a foot specialist as they would be the specialist best able to give you the most accurate diagnosis, so that you do not end up wasting your time and money.
If that is not an option you can entertain at this time and medical care is not an option for you then you can do the following:
1. Since the trauma is over 24 hours, I would recommend heat, specifically moist heat to the area on and off a few times per day, as heat increases blood flow to the area and it is blood that allows injured areas to heal. (Ice is used for the first 24 hours after trauma to reduce swelling and pain).
2. If you can tolerate medications like Advil or Aleve, you should take them according to the package insert on a regular basis (not here and there) in an effort to maintain blood levels of the medication as that is how the medicine works most effectively.
3. I would keep the foot wrapped with at least an ace bandage to keep the swelling down and to limit motion in the ankle joint.
4. If it is still very painful to walk on I would suggest you go non-weightbearing with the use of crutches. By going non-weightbearing you will limit any further damage for the time being.
Please keep in mind that if you did happen to break a bone, you run the risk of having issues down the road such as improper healing which can lead to permanent pain and disability because the fracture was not diagnosed in time.
So you have to make a decision as to whether or not you are going to see a doctor. I would suggest you see one as soon as possible.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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