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Broken bones: Myths you should know

As someone who has experienced ankle or foot injuries in an accident, you should know that there are many myths about treatment and recovery. Broken bones have the potential to significantly impact you and to cause disabilities in your life if not treated well.

After any accident, you should see a medical provider. He or she can give you more information about your specific injuries. It's also a good idea to see a second provider for a confirmation of your diagnosis and to make sure you fully understand every treatment option.

As for myths, there are many to debunk. Here are three that you should know the truth about.

Myth: You can't walk on a broken foot

The reality is that many people can, and do, walk on a broken foot without realizing the damage that has been done. Some parts of the foot, like the toes or fibula, could get broken and cause little pain when walking. They may still need medical treatment, and they could result in lasting pain or deformities if breaks aren't treated correctly.

Myth: You should soak a foot injury in warm or hot water to relax it

While it's true that muscle-related injuries often relax when in warm water, the reality is that no one should use hot water to soak an injury until a medical provider releases them to do so. Hot water increases circulation. Increasing circulation causes blood to flow into the area and inflammation. Inflammation causes pressure to build on the broken bones and impacts the nerves, leading to more pain than if you had done nothing at all.

What's a better option? Ice. Place ice inside a towel to prevent burns from the cold, then press it gently on the wounded area. This causes the blood vessels to constrict and creates a numbing sensation, so you can have less pain.

Myth: Securing the foot with elastic bandages is enough during healing

While elastic bandages do secure wounded body parts, they do little to help when the foot is injured. It's difficult to wrap certain parts of the foot in a protective manner that would prevent movement. Even if you could, over-extended ligaments, sprains and breaks may not benefit from the wrap. It's better to go to a medical provider and get a cast, if needed.

Foot injuries can seriously impact your life. Get medical help soon, so you can avoid falling victim to these popular myths.

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