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twisted my foot

by Kim
(Kentucky)

I twisted my foot 3 days ago. It was very painful at first and I couldn't stand to put weight on it. It is better now but is still swollen and bruised from underneath my ankle, along the top of my foot to the base of my toes. There is a knot on the side of my foot. I don't want to go to hospital just for them to tell me that I need to do what I've already been doing for it, but everyone that knows and has seen it tells me I should go to the doctor, that it could be serious.


ANSWER

Hi Kim,

The reason everyone is telling you to go to the hospital is because there is always the chance of a fracture and unfortunately the only way you are going to know for sure is with an x-ray.
In many instances of trauma, there will be a period for a day or two that the foot and ankle actually feel somewhat better. However, if there is a fracture or even severe ligament damage, you will reach the point where the foot and ankle do not continue to improve.
So, in 10 days to two weeks you find that your are still in substantial pain and this point you may have created problems for yourself.
If indeed there is a fracture of any kind, the sooner a fracture is identified and treated, the better the chance for successful resolution of the problem.
The thing to be concerned about is that if too much time has passed before a fracture is identified it may begin to heal in an improper alignment. Worse than that, if there is too much space between the two broken bones, the fracture site may not heal at all and than that opens up a whole new set of problems.
So, as you can see, even though you are able to walk and there is some pain, the proper thing to do is have a routine x-ray just to make sure that nothing is broken.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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