What Our Wichita Podiatrist Wants You to Know About Foot Fractures

Did you know that one foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 ligaments, muscles, and tendons? Although bones stop growing in length during our teenage years, their density and strength change over time. If you suffer a foot fracture, it’s usually not serious or debilitating. However, broken bones can still be painful and require proper diagnosis and treatment. If you review the symptoms of foot fractures below and suspect you have a problem, schedule an appointment with Central Kansas Podiatry Associates today.

What Are Foot Fractures? 

Bones are susceptible to two kinds of fractures: stress and general. 

  • Stress fractures are small fissures or cracks in the surface of the bone and usually occur in the forefoot, or the area from the mid-foot extending to the toes. 
  • General fractures travel into the bone beyond its surface and can be stable or displaced, as well as closed or open. Displaced fractures occur when bone ends no longer stay in proper alignment with one another. With an open fracture, the broken bone pierces through the skin.

The fifth metatarsal, or pinky toe, is vulnerable to several different types of fractures. Here are two of the most common: 

  • Ankle-twisting injuries can cause avulsion fractures. With this, the tendon that attaches to the fifth metatarsal bone tears and pulls away a tiny piece of the bone. 
  • A Jones fracture is a more serious injury occurring at the base of the little toe, which further restricts blood flow in an area that already has compromised circulation due to its location on the foot.

Foot Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment 

Typical causes of foot fractures include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Stress fractures from sudden exercise increases or overuse
  • Jarring jumps or falls
  • Accidents causing hard blows or impacts to the foot
  • Falling objects that crush bones in the foot
  • Twisting hard enough to cause the bones to snap or break

Many of our patients report various symptoms of foot fractures. Remember, it’s not normal to experience any of the following, so even if you don’t think you’ve injured your foot, call us today to determine the cause of: 

  • Swelling
  • Bruising of the injured area
  • Pain
  • Tenderness and sensitivity to touch
  • Difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot

To diagnose a foot fracture, we’ll likely do a series of imaging tests, and your recommended treatment is based on the severity of the break. In minor cases, treatment might simply involve: 

  • Apply ice to the area and elevate the affected foot to lessen swelling.
  • Wear a compression wrap, stiff orthopedic shoe, or walking boot to immobilize and protect the foot.
  • Keep weight off the foot and rest it as much as possible.
  • Use anti-inflammatory medication. 

With more severe foot fractures, such as displaced bones, we might have to conduct reduction surgery to move the broken pieces back into the right positioning or affix bones together with screws or plates to ensure proper alignment for healing.

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