When working in construction or a workshop, you risk injuries from falling objects, such as forefoot fractures. Steel-toed boots have become a standard safety measure to prevent such accidents. These boots protect your feet from objects that could cause blunt trauma by absorbing force. With the added protection, you’ll feel more secure handling a heavy object than wearing regular shoes.
Direct impact or the result of an indirect force might result in forefoot fractures. The exerted forces might range from modest loads repeatedly applied, causing stress fractures. Or to more damaging forces causing complex trauma. Forefoot fractures often have a better clinical outcome than mid and hindfoot fractures.
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How Steel-Toed Boots Protect You from Forefoot Fractures
First, let’s look at why steel-toed boots are needed. Your metatarsals are a part of your forefoot, also known as midfoot. The metatarsal bones function in two key areas: they stabilize the midfoot and allow you to walk. You can also adjust your gait to go uphill or downhill with the help of your soleus muscles. The tendons of the muscles connect to your metatarsals.
The metatarsal bones are long, so an external force applied to the metatarsal bones may cause avulsion injuries or a tear of the metatarsals. The metatarsals are attached to your foot using ligaments. Steel-toe boots protect these ligaments from direct contact with metal.
As a construction or industrial worker, you must get around on dangerous equipment safely and avoid accidents that could sideline you for weeks. By wearing steel-toed boots, you’re contributing to your safety on the job. These boots protect your lower legs and feet with a metal plate in the front or back of the foot for extra shock absorption. They also cover the entire toe area to prevent injuries from falling objects. Steel-toed boots are typically manufactured with rubber soles that are more comfortable than hard plastic, but they have a lot of weight and will place more pressure on your feet.
Steel-toed boots have a rating of ASTM 75-pound foot compression resistance rating. This means they will absorb up to 2500 pounds of force or 1133 kilograms of compression before your foot is injured. We can be certain that if an automobile wheel runs over our feet, we won’t be severely injured because not all car’s weight will be impacted by one wheel. The shank on the inside of the boots stiffens the boot and prevents it from buckling.
What Other Benefits Do Steel-Toed Boots Offer?
Besides the protection from forefoot fractures, steel-toed boots offer other features. They offer protection from electrical hazards. They are also water resistant, thus allowing you to work outdoors in inclement weather. They are sturdy and protect your feet from punctures or cutting hazards.
What to Do In case of a Forefoot Injury
If you sustain a forefoot injury, getting a medical evaluation is important. If you suspect a fracture in your foot, call your doctor or go to the hospital. A professional will take X-rays of your foot to determine the injury’s severity.
The goal of treatment is to stabilize the fracture. Some fractures may require surgery. The doctor will prescribe the right treatment, which could involve immobilization with a cast, a walking boot, or crutches to keep you off your foot. Your doctor will also advise you on taking care of your injury and may refer you to a physical therapist for help.