Two weeks ago, I fell and sprained my left foot, with significant swelling, pain and bruising - I'd guess a grade 2 sprain from what I've read. I was driven to ER right away, where they took x-rays. They found the navicular bone to be slightly fragmented, a little more than before (4 months ago) when I was in this same ER because of another accident where I broke a chip from this same navicular bone, same foot. The healing process from this first accident was 99% complete - then here I go with this 2nd accident, this time a bad sprain!
After 2 weeks, I'm still having pain and tenderness from the sprain - mainly the top of the foot near the toes, the arch area (recent pain) and tendon by the nav. bone (recent pain), along with bruising in my toes and inside arch area. The whole foot was very swollen for about a week, but now swelling has gone down except it remains around my ankle and just below, which makes my foot look a lot thicker than my other one - specifically where it bends.
After 2 weeks, shouldn't this swelling and bruising be pretty much gone? What about the pain I described? I'm almost 60 and know that injuries take longer to heal for us seniors, but I'm wondering how long. I walk okay, but finding shoes that fit my swollen foot is quite a task!
Also, do I really need an MRI at this time (as my PA suggested), or should I wait a while? Any help would be appreciate and thanks for reading.
1) If you said the x-rays show more fragmentation in the navicular, then it sounds like you are talking about a fracture. If the navicular is fractured, you will have pain and swelling for a while. Much longer than 2 weeks.
2) Never, never, never, never go the the ER for any type of injury and not follow up with a specialist. ER physicians are very good at triaging injuries, but they are not trained in treating these injuries. If you sprained your foot, the ER physician will say "Take some pills and stay off of it for a while". If you see a foot and ankle physician, they will know to look for the commonly missed ER injury - LisFranc fracture/sprain, which can have long term consequences if missed and treated improperly. Stress x-rays or an MRI is warranted in this case. If you don't treat these injuries properly, you are at risk for significant arthritis, structural changes in the foot and continued pain. So get it checked out.
The Following User Says Thank You to j9879 For This Useful Post: nafcatlady (10-09-2011)
As instructed by ER, I DID follow up with an orthopedic clinic appt. a week later. I'm not impressed with their service (the dr. was in and out in 3 minutes!), hence my posts here. The xray tech at ER said I had no breaks, but also said my navicular bone was SLIGHTLY fragmented. They didn't elaborate on that, neither did the ortho. dr. I would LOVE IT if I could find a caring dr. who knew their stuff along with taking the time with me that I need, as I always go to my appts. with a list of questions. Oh well, times have changed! Thank you for your quick reply, j9879!
Did you go to a general ortho physician? If so, that would get you nowhere. There is a reason there are orthopods that specialize in the foot and ankle. Its because the other ones don't want to treat the foot. General ortho surgeons have little to no training in the foot and ankle. He/she was probably in and out of the room because 1) They don't know what to look for 2) They don't care about treating the foot so it is only worth 3 mins of their time.
Not only do you need a caring physician, but you need one that specializes in your particular injury. There may not be any substantial injury to your foot, but you can't say that for sure based on the history you provided. An X-ray tech or even ER physician are not experts in x-rays of the foot. There are many, many instances when an x-ray is read as negative in the ER but something significant is picked up by the specialist. If it still hurts, you should see someone that treats foot injuries.
The Following User Says Thank You to j9879 For This Useful Post: nafcatlady (10-10-2011)