Fractures can occur in the feet because they are exposed to a number of sources of trauma. For example, in a car accident your feet aren’t protected by air bags, so they can easily be fractured. Falling from a height or suffering a twisting injury in sport can also lead to foot fractures.
What is a Stress Fracture?
A stress fracture is a small crack or severe bruising in a bone. Stress fractures of the foot are common in athletes, and are usually caused by overuse and repetitive activity. They also occur more commonly in people with osteoporosis, as they have weakened bones. Stress fractures most often affect the:
• Second and third metatarsals in the foot, which get the biggest impact as you push off to walk or run
• Calcaneus, also called the heel
• Fibula, the outer bone of the ankle and lower leg
• Talus, a little bone in the ankle joint
• Navicular, a bone on the top of the midfoot
Foot Fracture Symptoms & Treatments
Symptoms of a foot fracture include:
• Pain that worsens during weight-bearing activity
• Swelling of the foot or outside of the ankle
To diagnose a fractured foot, the physician will do a physical exam and x-rays. As fractures can be difficult to see on an x-ray, your doctor may also recommend a bone scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
Depending on the severity of your foot fracture, your doctor might suggest the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation), anti-inflammatory medication, a cast and/or crutches. If you require surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon will probably perform a procedure called internal fixation, which involves supporting the bones by inserting pins, screws, and/or plates.
In most cases, a fractured foot will heal in six to eight weeks. It can be challenging to regain range of motion following surgery as there is a lot of stiffness. To regain your range of motion you may need bracing, orthotics and/or physiotherapy to properly heal and return to sport.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you'd like more information on foot fractures.
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Foot injuries can be the result of a sports injury, a car accident or even a work related injury. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential when considering recovery time and optimal recovery outcomes. For more information on foot injuries and treatment options please view our complementary videos on Foot Injuries. Orthopedic Surgeons and Physiotherapits can help with foot injuries. A local Pedorthist and a local Podiatrist