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Fractures Specialist

InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center

Zachary Nellas, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Charlotte, NC

Fractures affect more than 1 million people in the United States every year. Certain injuries and activities can damage the bones in your feet and ankles, leading to a painful fracture. At InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, board-certified podiatrist Zachary Nellas, DPM, provides safe and effective treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle fractures. To speak with Dr. Nellas about your fracture, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Fractures Q & A

What is a fracture?

A fracture refers to a crack or break in one or more of your bones. A fracture can result from a number of different things, including sports injuries, falls, and car accidents. Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens your bones, can increase your risk of fractures. People who play high-impact sports like basketball, tennis, dance, and gymnastics are also at a higher risk of fractures. 

A fracture can occur with or without breaking the skin. A fracture that breaks through the skin is called an open or compound fracture and a fracture that stays beneath the skin is called a closed fracture.  

Stress fractures

A stress fracture is a tiny crack or hairline break in your bone. Stress fractures most commonly affect the bones in your foot and lower legs. Stress fractures are caused by repetitive force and overuse. If left untreated, stress fractures can leave you prone to more serious fractures. 

What are the symptoms of a fracture?

Although some fractures are obvious and cause visible breaks through the skin, certain fractures can be difficult to identify. If you experience a fracture, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Severe pain
  • Instability
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Bruising and swelling

If you suffer from a stress fracture, you might not notice symptoms at first. The pain of a stress fracture typically increases during periods of physical activity and gets worse over time. 

How are fractures diagnosed?

Fractures are primarily diagnosed through a physical exam and an X-ray. Your doctor uses images of your injury to determine the severity of your fracture. In some cases, your doctor may conduct an MRI to identify more complex injuries and stress fractures. Once you’ve been diagnosed, Dr. Nellas determines the most effective treatment for your condition.  

How are fractures treated?

There are a number of effective conservative treatments used to treat foot and ankle fractures, including:

  • Immobilization (cast, splint, or brace)
  • Crutches
  • Limited activities
  • Ice

In some cases, surgery is required to realign and restore the structure of your bones. If you experience a fracture, Dr. Nellas and his team can help determine which treatment is right for you. 

How can I prevent fractures?

Although not all fractures can be prevented, there are steps you can take to limit your risks. If you enjoy sports or other physical activities, be sure to wear proper footwear and protective gear. You should also avoid increasing the intensity of your exercises too quickly. Sudden increases in physical activity leave you prone to developing painful stress fractures. If you experience symptoms of a fracture, book an appointment at InStride Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center by phone or online today.