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ABSTRACT: Patients with metatarsal fractures often present to primary care settings. Initial evaluation should focus on identifying any conditions that require emergent referral, such as neurovascular compromise and open fractures. The fracture should then be characterized and treatment initiated. Referral is generally indicated for intra-articular or displaced metatarsal fractures, as well as most fractures that involve the first metatarsal or multiple metatarsals. If the midfoot is injured, care should be taken to evaluate the Lisfranc ligament. Injuries to this ligament require referral or specific treatment based on severity. Nondisplaced fractures of the metatarsal shaft usually require only a soft dressing followed by a firm, supportive shoe and progressive weight bearing. Stress fractures of the first to fourth metatarsal shafts typically heal well with rest alone and usually do not require immobilization. Avulsion fractures of the proximal fifth metatarsal tuberosity can usually be managed with a soft dressing. Proximal fifth metatarsal fractures that are distal to the tuberosity have a poorer prognosis. Radiographs should be carefully examined to distinguish these fractures from tuberosity fractures. Treatment of fractures distal to the tuberosity should be individualized based on the characteristics of the fracture and patient preference. Nondisplaced fractures of the proximal portion of metatarsals 1 through 4 can be managed acutely with a posterior splint followed by a molded, non-weight-bearing, short leg cast. If radiography reveals a normal position seven to 10 days after injury, progressive weight bearing may be started, and the cast may be removed three to four weeks later.
ABSTRACT: Lisfranc joint injuries are rare, complex and often misdiagnosed. Typical signs and symptoms include pain, swelling and the inability to bear weight. Clinically, these injuries vary from mild sprains to fracture-dislocations. On physical examination, swelling is found primarily over the midfoot region. Pain is elicited with palpation along the tarsometatarsal articulations, and force applied to this area may elicit medial or lateral pain. Radiographs showing diastasis of the normal architecture confirm the presence of a severe sprain and possible dislocation. Negative standard and weight-bearing radiographs do not rule out a mild (grade I) or moderate (grade II) sprain. Reevaluation may be necessary if pain and swelling continue for 10 days after the injury. Proper treatment of a mild to moderate Lisfranc injury improves the chance of successful healing and reduces the likelihood of complications. Patients with fractures and fracture-dislocations should be referred for surgical management.
Tendinopathies of the Foot and Ankle - Article
ABSTRACT: Because our understanding of tendinopathy has evolved in recent years, the condition is now considered a degenerative process; this affects the approach to treatment. Initial therapy should always involve relative rest and modification of physical activity, use of rehabilitative exercises, and evaluation of intrinsic and extrinsic causes of injury. The posterior tibial tendon is a dynamic arch stabilizer; injury to this tendon can cause a painful flat-footed deformity with hindfoot valgus and midfoot abduction (characterized by the too many toes sign). Treatment of posterior tibial tendinopathy is determined by its severity and can include immobilization, orthotics, physical therapy, or subspecialty referral. Because peroneal tendinopathy is often misdiagnosed, it can lead to chronic lateral ankle pain and instability and should be suspected in a patient with either of these symptoms. Treatment involves physical therapy and close monitoring for surgical indications. Achilles tendinopathy is often caused by overtraining, use of inappropriate training surfaces, and poor flexibility. It is characterized by pain in the Achilles tendon 4 to 6 cm above the point of insertion into the calcaneus. Evidence from clinical trials shows that eccentric strengthening of the calf muscle can help patients with Achilles tendinopathy. Flexor hallucis longus tendinopathy is most common among ballet dancers. Patients may complain of an insidious onset of pain in the posteromedial aspect of the ankle; treatment involves correcting physical training errors, focusing on body mechanics, and strengthening the body's core. Anterior tibial tendinopathy is rare, but is typically seen in patients older than 45 years. It causes weakness in dorsiflexion of the ankle; treatment involves short-term immobilization and physical therapy.
Evaluating the Patient with an Ankle or Foot Injury - Point-of-Care Guides