Foot Fracture – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

A person is holding his foot


A foot fracture is a break in one or more of the bones of your foot. The severity of a fractured foot varies. Fractures can range from minor bone fissures to skin-piercing breaches.


A stress fracture is the most common type of foot fracture. This form of fracture happens when the bone is overstressed. Stress fractures can be caused by repetitive actions.


A fracture, on the other hand, might be caused by certain medical problems that weaken the bones. These include osteoporosis and some cancers.


Other types of foot fractures include

Avulsion fractures: These occur when a ligament or tendon pulls off a small piece of bone.


Bone spur fractures: These occur when you have a bony growth on your foot that rubs against your shoe, causing pain.


Osteomyelitis: This is an infection of the bone or the bone marrow.


Plantar plate tears: These occur when the plantar plate, which is a thick band of tissue that connects the bones in the ball of your foot, tears.


Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD): This is when the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and connects to your calf muscle becomes weak or damaged. This can cause the arch in your foot to collapse.


Severs disease: This is a type of heel pain that often affects children who are going through a growth spurt.



Many different things can cause a foot fracture, including:

  1. A direct blow to the foot, as in a car accident.
  2. Falling and landing awkwardly on your feet.
  3. Repetitive motions, such as long-distance running.
  4. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or provide adequate support.
  5. Weak bones are caused by osteoporosis or other disorders.


The symptoms of a foot fracture vary depending on the type and location of the fracture.


Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the foot that gets worse with activity or pressure

  • Swelling and bruising in the affected area

  • Difficulty in walking or bearing weight

  • Tenderness to touch

  • Pain that begins after starting an activity and then resolves with rest.

  • Tenderness or “pinpoint pain” when touched on the bone.


Diagnosis and Treatments

A doctor will inquire about the events that led to the fracture. A physical examination will next be performed by a doctor to make a diagnosis. To fully analyze the fracture, they will require an X-ray and, in certain cases, an MRI or CT scan.


For treatment, your doctor will first recommend resting and avoiding activities that put stress on your feet.


He may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help with pain and swelling.


You can also use cold therapy. Ice the area for 20 minutes at a time to help with swelling and inflammation


If these treatments don’t work, you may need surgery to fix the fracture. The type of surgery you need will depend on the type and location of your fracture. After surgery, you will likely need to wear a cast or splint for several weeks while your bone heals.


Physical therapy may also be recommended to help you regain strength and range of motion in your foot after your injury heals.

In Summary

Foot fractures can be caused by many different things, including direct blows, repetitive motions, and wearing shoes that don’t fit well. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising in the affected area. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury but may include rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy, and surgery. If you think you have fractured your foot, it’s important to see your doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat your injury.


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