A foot fracture, or a broken bone in the foot, can be a result of a direct trauma, overuse injury, fall from a height, or sudden twisting of the foot or ankle. Regardless of the specific cause, a foot fracture is an injury that needs to be addressed in a timely fashion, often requiring immobilization with activity restrictions. Surgical intervention may be necessary depending on the type and location of fracture as well as the overall alignment of the surrounding bones and joints. Each type of foot fracture is unique is terms of protection and recovery time.
Limping and pain are the two most common signs of a foot fracture. A fracture can also present with:
- Deformity, such as a bone shifting out of alignment or a joint dislocation
If you cannot walk without limping, if the pain is intense, if the foot feels very hot or cold, if there is an open wound, or if there is tingling or numbness in the foot or toes, you should call the office immediately.
After the physical exam, an x-ray is often the first imaging modality to diagnose a foot fracture. Depending on the nature of the fracture, further imaging modalities may be necessary, such as a CT scan or MRI, to better visualize the fracture pattern. Treatment is divided into operative and non-operative depending on the specific fracture and location. Other treatments include:
- Ice therapy
- Elevation of the affected extremity
- Activity modification
- Immobilization in a surgical shoe, CAM walker boot, or cast
- Pain control
- Surgical repair with internal or external hardware