Foot problems are a common chief complaint. Patients may present to the ED when they do not have access to other sources of care or when an exacerbation becomes painful enough. Although these foot problems rarely are considered emergencies, it is useful for the emergency physician to be knowledgeable about these conditions to provide sound advice to patients and appropriate referral.
The ability to rapidly recognize infection, as well as distinguish inflammatory arthropathy from infection, crystal arthropathy, and osteoarthritis, makes arthrocentesis a valuable and sometimes essential emergency medicine procedure.
Pediatric lower extremity injuries are common in the emergency department, especially with increasing sports specialization in young athletes. Acute care providers need to be familiar with common injury patterns, indications for radiographs, and more specialized imaging. Recognizing and maintaining a high degree of suspicion for high-morbidity injuries that may masquerade as an ankle sprain is critical. The authors review common injuries and also injuries that cannot be missed including Maisonneuve fracture, talar fractures, navicular fractures, Jones or pseudo-Jones fractures, Lisfranc injuries, and Salter-Harris fractures.