How To Tell If You Have A Broken Foot? Symptoms, Causes, And More 

broken foot

An injury to the bone results from a broken foot. A broken foot could result from a simple slip or fall, a car accident, or another circumstance. Knowing the signs of a broken foot can help you decide whether you need medical attention and how serious the injury is.

The causes, signs, and timing of a broken foot are discussed in this article along with the need for medical attention. The techniques for first aid, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and prevention are also covered.

Symptoms Of A Broken Foot

Broken bones hurt, especially if they have to bear weight. A broken bone in the foot frequently exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Limping
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Walking may be too painful

A broken foot may also show additional symptoms, such as:

  • Joint dislocation: A foot deformity may be noticeable if the bones are significantly misaligned (lost bone alignment or associated joint dislocation).
  • Peripheral neuropathy-related changes in pain perception: ???????The fracture may initially go unnoticed in people who already have diseases or conditions like diabetes because pain may not be present in these individuals. People who have suffered spinal cord injuries may also experience this. One or two signs of a potential fracture, such as swelling, bruising, and deformity.

Causes Of A Broken Foot

The following are the most typical reasons for broken feet:

Car accident. Car accidents frequently result in crush injuries, which can cause broken bones that need to be repaired surgically.

Fall. Trips and falls, as well as landings after jumping from a short height, can break the bones in your feet.

The shock from large objects. Fractures are frequently caused by heavy objects falling on the foot.

Missteps. A broken bone can occasionally result from simply misplacing the foot. On furniture-damaged toes, bones can break.

Overuse. In the weight-bearing bones of the foot, stress fractures are frequent. Long-distance running, for example, can cause these minuscule cracks due to repeated strain or overuse. However, it can also occur when bones that have been weakened by conditions like osteoporosis are used normally.

Risk Factors

You might be more vulnerable to breaking your foot or ankle if you:

Take part in sports with high impact. Foot fractures can be brought on by strain, hard blows, and sprains sustained during sports like basketball, soccer, gymnastics, tennis, and soccer.

improper use of sports equipment or technology. Stress fractures and falls can result from equipment malfunctions like excessive wear or improper shoe installation. Foot injuries can also result from improper training methods, such as skipping stretches and warm-ups.

abruptly up your level of activity. Stress fractures can become more likely if you abruptly up your workout frequency or duration, regardless of whether you are an experienced athlete or just starting out.

adopt specific professions as your own. You run the risk of falling from great heights or dropping heavy objects from your feet in some work environments, like construction sites.

Make your house untidy or dimly lit. Falls and foot injuries can occur when navigating a cluttered or dimly lit home.

There are some prerequisites. Your foot bones are vulnerable to injury due to osteoporosis, which results in decreased bone density.

What Is The Recovery Period For Foot Broken?

A broken foot or toe can take 4-6 weeks to fully heal. But sometimes it takes up to 10 or 12 weeks for the body to heal.

In addition to any specific instructions provided by their doctor, recovering patients should follow the RICE method. To make sure that the patient’s healing and alignment are in order, additional X-rays or other scans might be required.

Returning to physical activity too soon can result in a complete fracture, a re-injury, or poor healing. Patients should contact their physician if pain or swelling returns.

How To Treat A Broken Foot?

RICE (rest, ice, elevation, and compression) is a first aid technique that can be used at home. Crutches can be used during rest to reduce weight bearing if tolerated. This regimen may be kept up after the patient is sent home from the hospital if the decision is made to seek medical attention.

The course of treatment for a foot fracture depends on the type of bone broken, the mechanism of the injury, the patient’s underlying health, and whether the fracture is open (the skin is broken) or closed (the skin is intact).

  • Broken toes are frequently treated symptomatically, with the injured toe being “buddy taped” to an adjacent normal toe. To avoid moisture and skin damage, it might be helpful to place cotton balls or other absorbent material between the toes. Crutches and a shoe with a stiff sole may be required to aid in walking. Within 4 to 6 weeks, healing ought to take place.
  • For better healing, surgery may be necessary for great toe fractures that are dislocated. This option may be selected by an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist (foot specialist), but it is frequently chosen voluntarily a few days after the injury.
  • Toe open fractures typically need thorough wound cleaning to avoid infection. The medical professional will frequently examine the wound simultaneously to check for foreign objects and assess the health of deep structures like tendons to check for lacerations.
  • Conservative care, which means no surgery is required, frequently results in a good recovery from metatarsal fractures. An orthopedic post-op or Reese shoe is put on the foot, which is then wrapped for comfort to reduce swelling. Cast boots may also be taken into account.
    • An after-op shoe without weight bearing may be used to treat first metatarsal fractures with good alignment. An operation to pin or plate the fracture may be considered if the fracture is displaced, which means the bone fragments are not aligned.
    • With an Ace wrap for support and weight bearing as tolerated, second, third, and fourth metatarsal fractures frequently heal well.
    • Stress fractures, also known as “March fractures,” commonly affect the second and third metatarsals.” March fractures were first observed in military recruits who had to quickly increase the amount of walking they did. For pain relief, you might think about wearing walking boots, casts, or splints.
    • There are two types of fifth metatarsal fractures. Treatment for avulsion fractures at the very base of the bone is the same as for other metatarsal fractures.
    • The fifth metatarsal shaft Jones fracture has a non-healing (non-union) rate of up to 50% and frequently needs surgery to be fixed.
  • Surgery is necessary to treat injuries from Lisfranc fracture-dislocation.
  • The location of the fracture in the talus will determine how it is treated.
  • The ankle joint is made up of the dome-shaped talus, which fits into the base of the tibia, or shin bone. This fracture might be difficult to spot and occasionally might be mistaken for an unhealing ankle sprain. Rest and refrain from bearing weight are the recommended treatments.
  • Because of inadequate blood supply, talar neck fractures frequently experience healing problems. In the absence of weight bearing while in a cast for two to three months, surgery may be necessary if the bone is dislocated.
  • A Shepherd fracture affects the posterior, or back, of the talus and is common in athletes who dance or kick. Cast immobilization is the recommended course of treatment.
  • With more snowboarding accidents, talus lateral process fractures are becoming more frequent. No weight-bearing in a cast is part of the treatment.
  • It takes a lot of force to cause a calcaneus fracture, and they are very painful and swollen. When a fracture needs to be stabilized surgically, an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist is frequently consulted urgently. To determine the severity of the fracture and whether the fracture line extends into the joint, a CT scan may be required. Injuries to the ankle, knee, hip, and lumbar spine may also be present, according to the medical professional.
  • Pain management will be aided by immobilizing the fractured foot. By reducing local inflammation, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help with over-the-counter pain management. If necessary, narcotic painkillers may also be prescribed.
  • Limiting swelling and reducing pain are made possible by rest, ice, and elevation.

When To Contact A Doctor?

If someone believes they have broken a bone in their foot or big toe, they should seek immediate medical attention. They shouldn’t try to drive. Smaller toe breaks should be attempted to be treated at home first because they are less severe.

Additionally, a person needs to get help right away if

  • the leg, foot, or toe is deformed or pointing the wrong way
  • there is a wound or broken skin near the injury
  • the toes or foot are cold, numb, or tingling
  • the toes or foot have turned blue or grey
  • the foot is crushed

Any injury that makes it difficult to walk or results in ongoing foot pain or swelling should also be reported to a doctor.

Prevention Of A Broken Foot

People should keep the floors in their homes and places of employment clutter-free to lower the risk of foot injuries. Worker safety boots should be worn in dangerous environments like construction sites.

The advice provided below can assist in avoiding stress fractures and other foot injuries when engaging in sports or exercise:

  • Use activity-appropriate shoes and equipment
  • Stretch, warm up, and start slowly
  • Gradually increase speed, time, distance, or intensity after a new activity or rest
  • Use stretches and exercises to build calf muscles
  • Alternate low-impact activities such as swimming and cycling
  • Eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to build bone strength


Numerous times, the signs of a strained or sprained ankle resemble those of a broken foot. However, after a fracture, swelling, pain, and visual abnormalities frequently get worse.

Foot fractures can result from overuse or an impact injury. Small cracks or fragments may make up a fracture, or there may be an open fracture where a portion of the bone pokes through the skin.

Anyone who thinks they may have a broken foot should see a doctor right away.

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