What is a broken foot?

A broken foot is a condition characterized by a fracture of one of the 26 bones in your foot. The fracture may occur in your toes, ankle, heel or midfoot. A broken foot may result from a variety of injuries, including falls, accidents, or dropping an object on your foot. Osteoporosis, which is a thinning and weakening of the bones, is an additional cause of broken feet.

In most cases, you will know immediately when you break your foot. You may hear a snap or crack and likely will feel pain. In severe fractures, the bone may be visible and protruding through the skin or your foot may look deformed. Symptoms of broken foot usually are localized to the location of the fracture. The most common symptoms of a broken foot are pain and swelling. It is also likely that you will have difficulty standing or walking.

Anytime an injury results in a broken bone, it is important to make sure that no other injuries occurred elsewhere. For example, the same fall that led to a broken foot may also have given the person a concussion. Conversely, a seizure may have induced the fall that caused the foot fracture.

Treatment will vary substantially depending on the severity and location of your fracture. For minor fractures, your health care provider may recommend a home care plan, including icing the fracture, taking over-the counter medications to reduce pain and swelling, and limiting activity. More severe fractures may require surgery and casting to set the fracture and stabilize it during healing.

Although life-threatening complications of a broken foot are rare, seek immediate medical care (call 911) for injuries that involve profuse bleeding or severe tissue damage. All serious injuries, including foot injuries, should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for a broken foot but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.


SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of a broken foot?

Symptoms of broken foot usually are localized to the location of the fracture and typically include pain and swelling.

Common symptoms of broken foot

Symptoms of broken foot will likely develop soon after the bone fracture occurs. Their severity will depend on the severity of the fracture. Symptoms of broken foot include:

CAUSES

What causes a broken foot?

A broken foot may result from a variety of injuries. Your foot may be broken during a fall, an occupational injury, a sporting activity, or a traffic accident. Dropping an object on your foot may also cause the bones in your foot to fracture. Osteoporosis, a thinning and weakening of the bones, is another cause of br... Read more about broken footcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles


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