A “broken foot” is the term used to describe a fracture within one of the foot bones. Each foot has 26 small bones and 33 joints, all of which are susceptible to fractures and other types of injuries. A broken foot can be classified as a stress fracture – a partial fracture slowly caused by repeated activities – or a standard fracture, which occurs suddenly and causes a definitive break. Some of the most common causes of broken feet include sports injuries, car accidents, slips and falls, impact from heavy objects, and overuse in the case of stress fractures.
What are the symptoms of a foot fracture?
The symptoms of a broken foot can vary based on the severity of the fracture and what part of the foot is affected. Still, symptoms often include:
- Throbbing pain that occurs immediately following the fracture
- Difficulty walking
- Tenderness and bruising
- A visible foot deformity
Of course, it can be difficult to tell if your foot is broken without an X-ray. Some foot injuries simply require rest and other self-care measures like hot/cold therapy. However, in the event that your pain and swelling does not improve within a few days – or if your symptoms are severe in nature – be sure to promptly consult with a medical professional.
How is a broken foot treated?
Each person’s course of broken foot treatment will depend on what bone has been affected and to what extent. Sometimes, rest and an over-the-counter medication to reduce pain is all that is necessary for the bone to heal. In other cases, immobilization with taping or a cast may be recommended, along with physical therapy to loosen up stiff foot ligaments. Less commonly, surgery may be necessary to correct foot alignment in patients with more severe breaks.
Orthopaedic Specialists offers a full spectrum of broken foot evaluation and treatment at our conveniently located centers north, south, east, and west of Pittsburgh. To schedule an appointment with a board-certified orthopedic physician on our team, contact us today.