Foot Fracture2017-08-24T10:42:24-04:00

Foot Fracture


A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone resulting from overuse. It usually develops in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Microfractures can develop due to overuse or disruption of the bone healing cycle.

Stress fractures sometimes result from a rapid increase in the intensity of exercise or sports activities without adequate preconditioning or pretraining. They can also be caused by a change in the surface of a sports activity, increased physical activity without adequate rest and wearing worn-out or ill-fitting footwear. Athletes participating in certain sports such as basketball, tennis and gymnastics are at a greater risk of developing stress fractures, as they experience repeated stress on the foot each time they land on a hard surface.

Symptoms of Fracture in Foot

The most common symptom of a stress fracture is pain, which usually tends to worsen with activity and  improve with rest. Swelling, bruising and tenderness around the area may also occur.

There may not be immediate swelling in the foot after a stress fracture. It may be difficult to bear weight on the foot with the stress fracture. In cases of acute fracture, deformity in the foot may be clearly visible, as bone may protrude through the skin. Some other symptoms of foot fracture include:

  • Pain.
  • Bruising.
  • Tenderness when touched.
  • Inability to put any weight on the injured foot.
  • Deformity, particularly if there is a dislocation as well as a fracture.

Treatment of Fracture

First-aid treatment for fractures should be implemented immediately after the injury, even prior to seeing a doctor. You should apply ice packs and keep your injured foot elevated to minimize pain and swelling.

The treatment of foot fracture depends upon the type and severity of the fracture to the bone and possible injury to its surrounding structures. Treatment begins with nonsurgical methods; but in cases where the fracture is unstable and cannot be realigned, surgical methods become the treatment of choice.

Nonsurgical Treatment

In nonsurgical treatment, the foot bones are realigned, and usually the foot will be placed in a brace or walking boot for at least two to three weeks. In some instances, depending on the type of fracture, patients may put weight on their injured legs right away; while others may have to wait for six weeks. At Sideline Orthopedics, you will come in regularly to repeat x-rays, so your doctor can make sure fragments of your fracture have not moved out of place during your recovery process.

Surgical Treatment

If the fracture is severe, your physician may suggest surgical treatment. You may need to have the bones fixated through surgery so proper and prompt healing may begin. During your regular visits to Sideline Orthopedics, we will monitor the progression of healing, then begin a rehabilitation program when appropriate to strengthen and increase the stability in your healing foot. The rehabilitation process will include physical therapy and regular exercises.

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