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The only hot thing you may be thinking about at the moment is the temperature in SoCal lately, but what about this? You can see a free flamenco show every Friday night at Tapas in Newport Beach. All that swirling of skirts and stamping of feet is sure to raise some temperatures! Unfortunately, dancers’ feet take a lot of punishment and years of flamenco could also lead to a foot fracture.

Many other things can lead to a break in the bones of your feet, too: falling off a bike, dropping something heavy on it, overuse from running long distances or playing sports. Knowing the degree of damage in your broken bone may not make it hurt any less, but it can help you know how to treat it and possibly prevent another such injury in the future.

Here is a brief description of various types of fractures:

  • Stress fracture – an overuse injury that causes a small crack in the bone surface. Time, rest and no weight-bearing are often all that is needed to heal it.
  • Stable – the bone has broken completely but the ends are still lined up straight. Immobilization can hold it in place while it heals.
  • Displaced – the ends of the break have shifted out of position and will need to be lined up again—possibly with surgery and pins or plates.
  • Compound – the bone is broken in two or more places.
  • Open – the bone pierces through the skin. This adds the risk of infection to the other challenges.
  • Avulsion – a ligament pulls on the bone and breaks a chip of it away. These may need surgery as well.

Foot fractures need professional care, and normally take from 6 to 8 weeks to heal—longer if the break is serious or infection sets in. That’s a lot of time away from dancing, playing sports, and other activities you enjoy. If you want to lessen your risk, eat the right foods and do weight-bearing exercise to build strong bones. Also make sure you start any new activity slowly, and always allow enough rest so your body can constantly rebuild damaged bone cells.

If you have foot pain and suspect you may have a fracture, call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists at (949) 364-9255 (WALK) for an examination and treatment to help your bone heal. Then, take it easy on the flamenco!