Did you know there are 26 bones in your foot? These support your weight and allow you to walk, run, and much more.  Different injuries like falling, twisting, or stubbing your toe can cause a break (fracture) to occur.

Symptoms:

  • Pain, swelling, redness, bruising
  • Blisters over the injury site
  • Feeling or hearing a pop or crack when an injury occurs
  • Having difficulty or not being able to walk after an injury
  • Bone sticking out of the skin.  Seek medical attention immediately.

Special Types of Fractures:

Lisfranc Fractures: The Lisfranc joint is in the middle of the foot that connects the metatarsals (long bones behind the toes) to the tarsals (bones in the arch). There are lots of ligaments (soft tissue) that hold the bones together.  Lisfranc injuries can be sprains (injury to the ligaments), fractures, or dislocations (bones forced out of their normal positions).  These injuries are most common in victims of motor vehicle accidents, contact sport players, and horseback riders.

Jones Fractures: Jones fractures occur in a small area of the 5th metatarsal (long bone behind the little toe) that is difficult to heal. They can be caused from a stress fracture (tiny hairline breaks that occur over time) or from a sudden injury.

Ankle Fractures: Ankle fractures are most commonly caused by twisting or rolling the foot inward or outward. They can be confused with an ankle sprain, but treatment is very different.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Your foot and ankle surgeon will order x-rays and/or other imaging studies, such as a CT (‘CAT scan’) or MRI.  He or she can determine the best way to treat a fracture.  Often times, treatment can be rest, ice, and immobilization.  However, sometimes surgery is needed.  Your treatment and recovery depend on which bone is fractured.

Until you are able to see your doctor, use the RICE treatment:

Rest: Stay off your injured foot
Ice: Apply ice to help with pain and swelling
Compress: Use an elastic wrap to help with swelling
Elevation: Keep your injured foot above the level of your heart to help with swelling

“It’s Just My Foot” – What Happens If I Don’t Seek Treatment?

Even if it’s “just a toe,” serious complications may happen if a fracture is not treated.

  • If a bone heals out of place, you may develop stiffness or have difficulty finding shoes that fit.
  • You could develop arthritis more quickly.
  • You may have chronic pain and deformity.
  • If the bone doesn’t heal, you may need surgery or have ongoing pain.