What You Need to Know About Dancer’s Fracture
A broken bone is not something new to a sporty person or a fond dancer. There are a lot of movements involved in these kinds of sports and hobby that would make one prone to the risks of a bone fracture or a broken bone. Fractures can be minimized by being careful, but accidents do happen and most of the time, you can no longer control it. Being in an accident would make you feel how totally powerless you are about what is going to happen. For instance, if you are about to take a fall, you would know so but this is not enough to help you stop your fall. Instead, you would only try to break that fall by defending yourself against the hard impact of the floor or the ground. Thus, you would have your hand outstretched, which likely results to a fractured wrist or arm. There are 200 more bones in the human body that might get broken. Thus, a fracture of foot, thighs, arms, legs, and other bones is always possible. The spine can be hit by something that might make it crack, especially when the spinal bones are no longer strong enough. Good bone density would make you more protected against fracture injury. But a strong impact to the bones might put the patient in a brace for quite some time while rehabilitation should take place. It is not fun being in braces to keep your treatment going. Thus, it would be more motivating for a patient to know more about the fracture so that measures can be made to protect one’s self against it.
A patient who loves to dance might have a dancer fracture. This injury happens when the foot or the ankle gets twisted. For the injury, the twist can cause avulsion fracture. The break usually happens to the fifth metatarsal bone found in the little toe. The avulsion action would refer to the small ligament near the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot that is being tugged by an even bigger and stronger ligament right after the break. A dancer’s bone fracture will likely have you stop moving your injured foot. This is especially important because the broken dancer’s bones, when used, would have to carry all your body weight. You can expect that patients with dancer’s fractures will be in cast and walking is the last thing that they are going to do.
Pain is among the fracture symptoms of the dancer’s injury and those that are fond of moving with the feet until the unfortunate twist in the fifth metatarsal happens. Dancers fracture happens in just one wrong move and misstep. Other signs of the fractured dancer’s bone would be swelling and limited walking movement. An injured foot would severely limit one’s movements that hobbling around on crutches would be the only likely option. It is not a good idea to use the injured foot to keep the fracture healing time be shorter. Dancer fracture in children could have resulted from one of those games wherein they need to run as fast as they can, causing them to twist their foot in the process. If kids keep being active this way, they might really encounter fractures of the foot.
When a patient has twisted or rolled an ankle hard and in acute manner, there is a possibility that not only the toe will be affected. The base of the little toe might be hurt as well. Once the injury happens, the patient would feel pain across the affected foot with the fractured metatarsal. However, the painful sensation will further give way to swelling. This will make the injury even more uncomfortable for you. In some instances, bruises or discoloration would happen to the area where the fractured fifth metatarsal is. The black and blue color of the twisted foot could have happened when you forgot to put an ice pack on the injured part. When touched, it would feel overly tender. Another offshoot for having metatarsal fractures would be that you will already be warned about the vulnerability of the same foot to another injury. This is also the same story with an ankle sprain wherein you have to watch out where you are going and what you will step on. A fracture of foot can easily happen to a recovering foot because it is not yet strong enough to support your entire body. This is why you have to be patient with your crutches that can make you hobble around. This will protect your injure foot from further harm.
A patient with a fracture of the metatarsal has to undergo a physical examination that will be administered by the doctor. This is done by touching the area outside of the fracture. It would feel extra tender when compared to the other parts of the foot. Tenderness might even be felt in other areas that are not exactly near the fractured fifth metatarsal bone. There is usually little blood flow to the broken little toe and its base. This is why numbness and tingling sensations can be felt on the injured foot. The physical examination needs to be conducted to see what more your foot can and cannot do. It is important that the foot can still point outwards. This test can be done in the process called eversion. This will have you follow an eversion position for your foot. After the exam, the doctor will know if the tendons are still strong enough to keep the foot moving.
Another diagnosis that will help tell what dancer fracture treatment is needed is the x-ray. This will help the doctor see the extent of the avulsion fracture. The break in the metatarsal bone would be seen from both the inside and the outside of the bone.
Dancers Fracture Treatment
Some dance fractures cases can be treated even without surgery. If the foot is still capable of eversion movement, wherein it can still wiggle pointing outwards, fracture surgery is not really necessary. This means that the tendons in the injured foot are still very much capable of supporting the movement and the healing of the injury. To treat dancers fracture, the foot just needs to rest and be left alone for rehab. The recovery time of the fracture would be hastened this way if the foot is kept immobilized. One effective way on how to heal this fracture without any fuss would be to leave it as it is. Time would come when more fluid movements can be made.
After a little while, the patient would be able to walk but this will be done so with the help of a walking boot. The critical period of the first few weeks after the injury should have the foot well rested. You should willingly do this if you want to cut short the dancer’s fracture healing time. Instead of relying solely on the foot when walking, crutches should be used instead. A good road to recovery would be signaled by reduction in the swollen area of the foot with the healing of the wound, if there is. Moreover, the patient would already be able to walk faster even when the walking boot still has to be used. In most cases, it would take about six weeks for the dancers fracture treatment to be complete. When the patient is already over the walking boot phase, a stiff-soled shoe that is full of padding should be used for walking.
Six weeks is already a considerably long time to be spent just mopping around doing nothing but watching the swelling in the foot goes down. What is even more frustrating would be when the recovery of the fracture is dragging. Some injuries would even take eight or more weeks to be healed. However, even after the doctor would say that your movement restrictions are already lifted, complete bone recovery would not happen until a few months later. This holds true for other types of fractures such as foot stress fracture. There are many other things that will be taken away from the patient who has a broken bone. Naturally, no one would be happy about this. The most practical thing to do though would be to follow doctor’s orders and take all the prescribed medicines. For convenience, emedicine can be purchased online.