Fractures of the Foot
There are 26 bones in each foot – all together, that’s nearly one fourth of the bones in your entire body! Considering this, on top of the fact that your feet support all of your weight when you walk, run, jump, dance, and more, it’s not surprising there are so many opportunities for a foot fracture to occur.
Fortunately, Capital District Podiatry provides top of the line care for broken bones, helping you to heal correctly and as quickly as possible. Whether you experience a stress fracture from overuse or a broken toe from a sudden injury, we’ve got you covered so you can get back on your feet and back to the activities you love.
Types of Fractures
There are a wide variety of fractures that can occur in your feet.
A stress fracture is a crack in the bone that occurs due to repetitive stress placed upon it, which is why this is a common injury in runners who log a lot of miles or dancers who train a lot. Sometimes referred to as a hairline or incomplete fracture, if left untreated, it can eventually become a full-fledged break, especially if overuse and stress continue.
Metatarsal Fractures occur in the long bones on top of the foot (called, coincidentally enough, metatarsals). Jones and Lisfranc fractures fall within this category as they involve the heads of the metatarsal bones and the midfoot metatarsal joint complex respectively. This type of break is typically the result of sudden trauma.
Broken toes are another outcome of trauma to the foot, like for instance, dropping a bowling ball on it. Still other traumatic injuries include broken ankles and heel fractures which can both be quite debilitating. While toes can be buddy taped together to heal, a heel fracture or ankle break will require total rest, a cast or special boot, and sometimes even surgery.
Levels of Severity
Just as there are different types of fractures, each also come in varying grades of severity. All completely broken bones, no matter where they are located in the foot, fall into four main categories:
- Displaced – the bone breaks into two or more pieces that no longer line up.
- Non-Displaced – the bone breaks in two but stays in alignment
- Open – the most severe, this is when the bone breaks through the skin and the wound is in danger of infection.
- Closed – the broken bone occurs internally without breaking through skin.
Treating a broken bone depends upon a number of factors including the type of break it is, the category in which it falls, where in the foot the fracture has occurred, and lifestyle considerations. If the fracture is mild or a small crack, rest, ice, and taping may be all that is needed to heal. However, for more severe breaks, immobilization and surgical procedures may be necessary. The only way to find out for sure is to come in and let us X-ray and assess your injury so we can determine the best course of action to get you healed up and active again as quickly as possible.
If you’ve hurt your foot, and swelling, pain, and bruising are present, schedule an appointment with us by dialing (518) 273-0053 to reach our Troy or Clifton Park office.