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Sprain vs. Fracture: Foot and Ankle [Video]

Ask the Expert: Foot and Ankle Video Series

About the video: What is the difference between sprains and fractures in the foot?

Listen to our foot and ankle experts Michael Anderson, D.O., Michael Castro, D.O., and Tracy Rupke, M.D. discuss two of the most common injuries to the foot.

Meet the Dr. Michael Anderson

Dr. Anderson’s approach: “Foot and ankle problems affect people from all walks of life. Whether your goal is to get back to competitive sports, live a more active life, resume work or enjoy time with family and friends, I’m here to help.”

Dr. Anderson’s background: After completing his undergraduate studies at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, Dr. Anderson attended the Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois to earn his medical degree. Following his residency as part of the the Orthopedic Surgery program at Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals in Clinton Township, Michigan, he went on to train at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York through their Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery fellowship.

Meet Dr. Tracy Rupke

Dr. Rupke’s approach: “I am dedicated to providing the best care possible for my patients. I love running and understand every patient’s desire to return to their own life and activities.”

Dr. Rupke’s background: Much of Dr. Rupke’s training and education took place in Ontario, Canada. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph, earned her medical degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, and underwent residency training at the University of Ottawa. There she also completed a Sports Medicine fellowship, and she went on to train in the University of Washington’s Foot and Ankle Surgery fellowship program at  Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

Meet Dr. Michael Castro

Dr. Castro’s approach: “I view the foot and ankle as a ‘perfect machine’ that is taken for granted…when it breaks down the effects can be profound. My focus and the focus of my team is to help get you back on your feet doing what you love.”

Dr. Castro’s background: After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, Dr. Castro earned his medical degree at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. His residency took place at Michigan State University/Mount Clemens General Hospital in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and he went on to complete two fellowships: the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Fellowship at Portland Foot and Ankle Center in South Portland, Maine, and then an AO/ASIF Fellowship in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Summit Orthopedics offers personalized foot and ankle expertise

Our fellowship-trained foot and ankle physicians understand that your mobility depends on the health of your feet and ankles. If you have suffered an injury or are experiencing symptoms that make walking painful, our team of foot and ankle specialists can help with conservative treatment, seasoned surgical teams, and expert rehabilitation support. Summit Orthopedics specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely get you back on your feet and on your way.

Start your journey to optimal foot health. Find your foot and ankle expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

Sprains are extraordinarily common whether you’re a high-level athlete, a weekend warrior, or even just take a misstep off of a curb. Oftentimes, sprains can be treated without surgery and a diligent course of physical foot therapy and strengthening. But sometimes those problems can linger and require surgery. An ankle sprain occurs when there’s a kind of a forced rotation of the foot or rolling over the foot. Most commonly, it’s the outside of the ankle that’s involved – two ligaments primarily. The sprain is the stretching or tearing of those ligaments. And it’s not that they tear in half and they’re no good anymore. Typically, it’s kind of more of stretching of those ligaments. And, in truth, it results in laxity. Your ankle will move in ways that it shouldn’t for a period of time. But more often than not, the body heals that sprain with scar tissue that actually becomes tighter than it normally is. And that’s really one reason for physical therapy after an ankle sprain. Stress fractures are also very common. They commonly occur for a variety of reasons. It’s either that there’s something abnormal about the bone or that you’ve asked the bone to do something abnormal. And what I mean by that is that, in some way, you’ve increased your activity faster than the bone can strengthen itself. Now typically, stress fractures in the foot – generally the pain is on the top of the foot. There may or may not be much in the way of swelling but there’s usually tenderness – meaning that if you push on the area, it’s sore to touch. So if you’ve had a change in activity, you’ve been doing a little bit more and develop pain that hurts when you walk or certainly hurts more when you try and run on it, that’s concerning for a stress fracture.