Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is my foot damaged?"
I'm a guy, age 28, and I took a hard fall while running about two months ago. I got my foot / ankle xrayed and the scan showed no break, so I've just been taking it easy and taking care of it since then. But still today, if I stand or walk for a long time, it begins to ache unbearably. Is it still injured? Will this pain go away?
Foot pain is a common condition, especially in young athletic persons. I would encourage you to follow up with your primary care physician. This pain should resolve, however if there is a problem that is preventing the healing process than it should be investigated. An orthopedic surgeon, may ultimately be necessary, however I would first talk to your primary care doctor. First of all, despite the fact that you had x-rays, this does not ensure that there was no fracture. X-rays are not perfect, and sometimes do not show small fractures. This is especially true in the period immediately after the injury. If there is a fracture this may require casting and / or surgery and therefore should be ruled out. The most common cause is what we call "sprain/ strain." This diagnosis encompasses a range of inflammation and injury to the muscles and ligaments. These do not have a specific treatment as the body needs time to heal. This inflammation can be treated with various medicines (anti-inflammatories). Another common cause of foot pain is called repetitive stress pain. This can occur after another injury, as people then change the way they walk and therefore injury other structures. One common problem is plantar fascitis, which is inflammation of the bottom of the foot. I would talk to your primary care doctor. A simple injury should have healed by now and it therefore requires further attention.
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