Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Careful diagnosis helps fracture patients put best foot forward

Date:
December 3, 2009
Source:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Summary:
Located in areas of the foot that can be hard to visualize with X-rays and other imaging techniques, injuries to the ankle area of the foot are the most frequently misdiagnosed of all foot fractures.

Located in areas of the foot that can be hard to visualize with X-rays and other imaging techniques, injuries to the ankle area of the foot are the most frequently misdiagnosed of all foot fractures. Delayed diagnosis can have serious consequences, sometimes leading to permanent disability.

A new review article published in the December 2009 issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) shows that a detailed description of the injury, recognition of subtle diagnostic imaging clues, and targeted physical exam can help avoid long-term injuries and disabilities that may occur as a result of these uncommon fractures.

"The talus is a very important bone in the ankle," said study co-author Joseph Kou, M.D., attending surgeon at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in Walnut Creek, Calif. "Injury to the talus and its surrounding structures will significantly affect the function of the foot and ankle and can lead to long term disability if not treated properly."

Foot and ankle injuries involving the talus (or peritalar region) often occur as a result of:

  • car accidents or other high-impact trauma; and
  • can also occur as a result of low-impact events, such as twists and falls.

When treatment of these injuries is significantly delayed, permanent disability can occur, and surgical intervention may be necessary to restore function.

Patients play a crucial role in aiding physicians during the diagnosis process, Dr. Kou added. Men and women who suffer an ankle injury should inform their physician about unusual or persistent symptoms, including:

  • persistent pain that is not improving;
  • the inability to bear weight; and
  • severe swelling, bruising, and blistering of the skin.

Patients should also be sure to give their treating physician a complete and accurate description of how the injury occurred, and should identify the area of the foot and ankle where the pain is most severe, two factors that can play a key role in helping a physician make the correct diagnosis in these uncommon injuries.

The difficulty in accurately diagnosing these injuries is due to two primary factors, Dr. Kou said.

"The foot has complex three-dimensional anatomy that can be difficult to fully assess on conventional two-dimensional radiographs, such as X-ray," he noted. "Also, while most foot and ankle injuries involve innocuous sprains, a small percentage of these injuries are significant. The rarity of these injuries results in frequent misdiagnosis."

"The key to proper diagnosis is, first and foremost, knowledge of the existence of these injuries," he noted. "Physicians also need to be aware of subtle radiographic clues that can indicate injury of the peritalar region."

By following these guidelines, the study authors say peritalar injuries can be identified and treated earlier, avoiding the need for surgery down the road.

"A delay in diagnosis can adversely affect the long-term outcome of the injury," Dr Kou noted. "Better knowledge and awareness of the existence of these talus injuries throughout the orthopaedic community will decrease the incidence of missed diagnosis, and significantly improve patient outcomes."

About the Talus

Located between the heel bone and the lower leg bones, the talus forms the lower part of the ankle joint and transmits the weight of the body to the foot during motion. The area surrounding the talus, known as the peritalar area, comprises four joints which are essential for proper motion. Fractures to these joints, or injury to the ligaments connecting them, can be especially difficult to detect.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Careful diagnosis helps fracture patients put best foot forward." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100549.htm>.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2009, December 3). Careful diagnosis helps fracture patients put best foot forward. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100549.htm
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Careful diagnosis helps fracture patients put best foot forward." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201100549.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins