Globally, there is an increased prevalence of fractures with approximately 1 fracture occurring every 3 seconds. East Coast Podiatry Centre sees more than a dozen foot fractures every week.
In Asia specifically, there are several factors which we observe to have contributed to this epidemic.
Stress fractures become common when given all of the above. Our foot and ankle specialist in Singapore commonly see foot fractures in the clinic. The fracture may originate from microtrauma which if left untreated becomes partial to complete stress fracture. Stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity such as basketball, circuit training, brisk walking, running or Zumba.
Many patients have the mindset that since they have been doing these activities for so many years yet never experienced any pain, then there is no problem. However, just a subtle change to your routine may result in the onset of a fracture. For example:
Lower limbs and feet are specifically vulnerable to stress fractures because of the repetitive forces inflicted on them during walking, activities and daily life. The foot and ankle may take a load of up to 300% your body weight, depending on the activity you are doing. You do not have to be an active person to sustain a foot fracture.
Fractures can happen anywhere on the ankle and foot: calcaneus, cuboid, navicular, toes, etc. The most common sites are the metatarsals, as made famous by David Beckham in International Football. This is mostly due to the metatarsals being inherently longer and thinner than the rest of the foot bones; excessive force on these bones can cause them to fail when you come to your toe-off phase of gait.
Fractures present as:
Fracture cases often heal without surgical intervention, but there is approximately 4-8 weeks of down-time where patients must modify their activities and immobilise their leg using casting (fixed or removable). X-rays may be taken for diagnosis, and clinical treatment may be undertaken to ensure full recovery. Re-injury will lead to a longer recovery time and further complications.
East Coast Podiatry Centre is well-equipped to heal a fracture swiftly and effectively. Your bones have a constant state of turnover called bone remodelling, but for this to be effective a fracture must be correctly immobilized, treated and monitored to ensure full fracture union. Delayed treatment of a fracture results in longer recovery time and a possible non-healing fracture. This eventually results in the need for surgical repair or fixation of the bones. We refer such cases to qualified foot and ankle surgeons.
Examples of fracture types in the foot and ankle
|Metatarsal Fractures||Lisfrancs Injury||Phalangeal/ Toe Fracture|
|Jones Fracture||Avulsion Fracture||Pathological Fracture|
|Tibial / Fibular Fracture||Sesamoid Injury||Diabetic Osteoarthropathy|
|Crush Injury||Tri-malleolar Fracture||Talar Dome Lesion|
|Talar Neck Fracture||Calcaneal Fracture||Maisonneuve Fracture|