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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066




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By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
February 10, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Fractures   ankle injuries   x-ray   broken toes  

A patient presented this morning after injuring her ankle the other day, having slipped on some ice. While she was fortunate in that nothing appears to have been broken, people are often caught trying to decide on their own whether they've broken a bone or not, using that information to determine whether to seek professional care. Here are some common statements and questions I've heard over the years:


"If I can move it/walk on it, that means it isn't broken". Not true. Broken bones hurt. A lot. You can walk on a broken foot, but it can hurt. A lot. Moving your foot may be difficult and painful, but it can be moved. The best way to determine if it is broken is by x-ray. As an aside, many people are unaware that we take x-rays in our office--we don't send you out to a radiologist. The results are obtained within a few minutes and your injury is treated appropriately--and immediately.


"A fracture is not as bad as a break". Not true. A fracture IS a broken bone. It may be described that way as not as serious of a break, such as in a "hairline fracture" where the break is noted as a fine line on x-ray. Sometimes we have to perform an ultrasound/sonogram study to help diagnose one of those hairline fractures [also performed in our office]. But in either case, the healing time remains the same. Broken bones heal in 6-8 weeks, even though most of the pain is relieved sooner.


"You can't do anything about a broken toe". Not true. At the very least, an x-ray needs to be taken to determine whether the toe(s) are broken and, if so, whether the fracture is in good alignment or not (displaced). Broken toes which are in good alignment are treated by "buddy taping" to the next toe. If not, then the fracture needs to be set before the taping. Minor malalignments are typically set in the office under local anesthesia.


"Ice or heat--which is best?" In the first 24-48 hours following an injury such as an ankle sprain, think "RICE": Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Get off your feet. Elevate you foot to the level of your hip. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes out of every hour (followed by 40-45 minutes without icing). Mild compression consisting of an elastic ankle support or ace wrap will also help keep swelling to a minimum.


Contact Us if you have any concerns or questions about an injury. Again, we have an x-ray machine in the office, so your injury can be taken care of promptly and in one location. Outside of regular office hours, our voice mail box has an emergency number for you to call if you're in need. 24/7/365.




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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470