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Posts for: August, 2019

Difference Between Broken or Sprained Ankle You’re out running and you step somewhere awkwardly - it could be the edge of a curb, a pothole, or a crack in the ground. Now you’re on the ground and one of your ankles is throbbing. Hopefully, you’re with someone or there are people nearby since putting any pressure on the foot is nearly impossible.


It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the two without seeing a doctor. There are some basic rules of thumb to go by, though. This is not to be taken as medical advice.

Here are some of the differences between an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture. 


Ankle Sprain

An ankle sprain is when you do damage to your ankle ligaments. The area will swell. You’ve either stretched or torn a ligament. There will be pain and you can’t put your foot on the ground without it hurting. The best thing you can do is the RICE treatment:

Rest - Your body needs to heal. Stay off your feet for at least the rest of the day.

Ice - Put ice on the area for 20 minutes at a time. 20 minutes on. 20 minutes off. 

Compression - Put an ace bandage on the foot. This will help reduce swelling

Elevate - Put several pillows under your feet.


Ankle Fracture 

There will be a lot of pain. It can be hard to tell, though, since unless there’s a clean break and something is protruding, an X-ray will be necessary to determine the extent of the injury. 

Another possible thing that can occur is you will likely hear a popping sound when the injury occurs. That doesn’t happen with a sprain.

You can look for some other signs like

Deformity - There will be swelling in either case, but this goes beyond the norm. Also, it will just look… odd.


Pale skin around injured area

Numbness - This is a big one since a sprain tends to be constant throbbing, but the fracture can cause numbness after the initial pain.

• In either case, it’s best to see a doctor, preferably an orthopedic surgeon. They can examine the foot and if there is a fracture, take the necessary steps to ensure that the foot is immobilized and perform surgery if the bones are not aligning properly.

If you have an ankle sprain, depending on the severity and how fast you do the RICE treatment, you can be on your feet again in a matter of days. Ankle fractures can require a lot longer recovery time, like weeks or even a month or more before you can resume your normal fitness activities like running. 

Dr. John J Hickey is a podiatrist and he can help patients who have recovered from either an ankle sprain or a fracture find the best shoes to provide both comfort and stability to help prevent this situation from occurring again.

August 02, 2019
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All About Bunions


One may have heard about bunions but wondered what they actually are. The best way to describe it is for one to imagine a bump growing on the big-toe side of the foot at the base of the toe. It can push the big toe toward the small, or pinkie, toe.


The question is - how exactly does one get a bunion and what can one do about it? It’s a very common occurrence, too. Roughly three million people a year get one.

Here are some things people should know about bunions.


The thing with bunions is that they are not instant. They may grow over the years before becoming truly noticeable. Calluses may also form over the bunion and people notice that their feet are changing shape with their big toe not pointing straight anymore.

Bunions may not be initially painful and may seem more like an annoyance. Chances are, if left untreated, they can worsen over time. Other complications may include bursitis, hammertoe and Metatarsalgia, which is pain in the ball of one’s foot.

Like a lot of other foot conditions, one way of preventing bunions is to assess how one treats their feet in their younger days. Do they wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes or do they cram them into whatever passes for fashion at the time?

There are other factors too, including genetics and whether one has arthritis.


The first step is for one to see a foot doctor if the pain keeps getting worse, the bump appears on the big toe, there’s difficulty in moving one’s foot or even walking properly.

A foot doctor will examine the situation and determine a course of treatment. An X-ray will be taken. Non-surgical options will range from changing shows to splinting the foot to taking painkillers to icing the foot.

Surgery is often the last option, since there is a small chance that it might affect the stability of the big toe and have it permanently pointing toward the pinkie toe.


Narrow shoes will be out of the question, since they can cause a reoccurrence. The patient will need to take good care of their feet and a full recovery, especially if surgery was needed, can take weeks, if not months.

Dr. John J Hickey has worked with people’s feet for many years at Levittown Podiatry. He knows what causes bunions and how to treat them.  Give him a call to learn what he can do for you: 516-735-4545.