Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

After I broke a bone in the middle of my foot, the doctor put a cast on right up to my knee. Wasn't that a bit of overkill? Could I not have just wrapped it and used crutches?

Answer:

Casts on a foot can be a burden, they're heavy, they're hot, they make your foot itch, they limit your ability to do things, and you can't get them wet (the plaster ones, anyway). However, casts play an important role in healing.

A cast that is properly applied keeps your foot in the prescribed position so the bones can heal in the right shape. A cast also protects your foot from further harm as you can't dislodge the bone as it is healing and it prevents you from putting undue weight on your foot.

While it's possible that your foot may have healed without a cast, if your doctor was concerned about the break being displaced, the cast was likely the best bet. You may be very good at using your crutches, but it would only take one loss of balance for you to be forced to put unexpected weight on your foot and cause more damage. Tamara Pylawka and Lucille B. Brown. Midfoot Trauma. In Clinical Orthopaedic Practice. May/June 2008. Vol. 19. no. 3. Pp. 228-233.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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