Car accidents are a leading cause of calcaneus fractures. Unlike simple broken bones, when the calcaneus is fractured it often breaks into multiple places. Numerous bone fragments make calcaneus fractures very serious and very painful Missouri car accident injuries.
Symptoms of calcaneus fractures
- Swelling in the foot
- Bruising on the heel
- Inability to bear weight on the heel
- Extreme sensitivity
- Extreme pain
Because of the strength of impact required to break the calcaneus, injury victims with broken heels often suffer from multiple injuries - especially back, hip or leg injuries. If you have been diagnosed with a calcaneus fracture, it is important that you be screened for other car accident injuries.
Treatment of calcaneus fractures
The treatment of a calcaneus fracture depends on the severity of the injury. If the fractured bones remain in place (a stable fracture), the foot will be immobilized in a cast until the bone can heal. Until the bone heals, the heel cannot support weight and the accident victim will have to stay off of his feet. This may take as long as eight weeks. The victim will be able to resume normal activities within three to four months.
However, it is not uncommon for bone fragments to become displaced within the foot. When this happens, surgery may be necessary. A plate may be screwed in to help the bones to remain in place, or the bone may be fused together. It may be years before the injury victim can resume normal activities.
Rehabilitation of calcaneus fractures
Once the injury has begun to heal, it is important to begin physical therapy in order to increase the strength and range of motion in the ankle. Therapy may be painful, but without therapy the victim will not be able to walk.
Long term effects of calcaneus fractures
While it is possible to make a full recovery from a heel fracture, most accident victims who suffer a broken calcaneus are left with constant discomfort in the heel. The heel joint may become stiff or suffer from arthritis. This can make it hard to walk on uneven surfaces.
Even after healing, it may be necessary to wear a special shoe in order to prevent irritation of the misshapen ankle.
Sometimes the metal screws which are holding the calcaneus can fail, causing the bone to collapse. This is very painful and requires additional surgery. Other complications include:
- Nerve irritation around the incision
- Tendon irritation caused by the screws
- Altered gait or limping
- Joint stiffness
- Chronic pain
- Blood clots
- Failure to heal
- Collapse of bone
While a broken heel sounds like a simple injury, calcaneus fractures can cause life-long discomfort. The victim may have difficulty working or enjoying favorite activities.
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