Foot fracture

Feet | Orthopaedics | Foot fracture (Disease)


A fracture is break in a bone. The foot has 26 bones and a fracture causes pain and swelling. A person with a foot fracture has a break in one of the bones in the foot. Foot fractures may occur in the toes, mid-foot, and hind-foot or heel.

Broken bones are painful, which is the most common symptom that will prompt a person to seek medical care. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness are the other common symptoms. Because the body tries to protect itself, walking may be too painful or the patient will present with a limp. If the bones are significantly displaced (the bone alignment has been lost or there is an associated joint dislocation) a deformity of the foot may be apparent.

Causes and Risk factors

When outside forces are applied to bone it has the potential to fail. Fractures occur when bone cannot withstand those outside forces. Fracture, break, or crack all mean the same thing.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Sometimes a fracture cannot be seen with a standard X-ray and a CT scan may need to done. If the broken bone punctures through the skin it is called an open or compound fracture.

Treatments for a broken foot will vary, depending upon which bone has been broken and the severity of the injury. If the break is mild and not misaligned simple splinting may be all that is necessary. Treatment for foot fractures may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, use of crutches, cast or splint, narcotic pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. The most serious fractures or those with a bone protruding through the skin will require surgery and possibly antibiotics. Pain medications will be prescribed as well. ...

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