How to Help Your Foot Fracture Heal Well

Foot Fracture X-RayWhether the onset of spring has you out gardening, running, shopping, or playing soccer, the increased activity puts you at risk for a foot fracture. A broken bone can be caused by anything from overuse as you get back to spring sports, to a fall while dancing, to a crushing injury at work. So many ways to break one, but all bones—even those cut during surgery—follow the same pattern as they heal.

It begins with bleeding and inflammation where your bone breaks. This provides nutrients for repair and the clotting actually provides the first basic “structure” for your bone tissue to repair itself. This is replaced by fiber tissue and cartilage called “soft callus,” which gradually strengthens until it forms “hard callus.” Your bones continue to heal for weeks, until they regain their compact, hard form and you can start putting weight on them—which also helps in their rebuilding.

What can you do to help this process along?

  • Number one: keep weight off your foot or leg. If you are constantly stressing the break, it keeps getting damaged and slows down the healing.

  • Immobilization: you may need a cast or a protective boot for some broken bones, while others may only require a stiff-bottom shoe that keeps foot joints from moving.

  • Icing: cold therapy can reduce pain and swelling in the first few days.

  • Eat right: make sure you eat foods rich in calcium and other nutrients helpful for bone growth. We may even advise taking nutritional supplements during this time.

  • Don’t smoke: smoking inhibits your circulation, which is necessary to supply the bone with building blocks to repair itself.

  • Keep sugar levels under control: if you are diabetic, slow healing is often one of the complications. Maintaining even glucose levels helps.

  • Follow our physical therapy recommendations: rehab is a big part of getting back to full use of your feet and legs, by strengthening muscles and reconditioning tendons and ligaments to hold the bones in place.

Our doctors have treated countless broken bones—some quick healing and many needing our surgical expertise—and we know that the part you play is crucial. We can help you get on the right track for faster healing of your foot fracture, so you can enjoy your favorite activities again. Contact our west Denver area offices by calling (303) 423-2520 or scheduling an appointment through our website.

Photo credit: zirconicusso via

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