A broken bone in the foot can jeopardize your ability to walk and go about activities of daily living. What’s more, such injuries are very often quite painful. One of the most common types of foot fractures is a stress fracture, which takes place in the bones of the forefoot. This injury happens when you suddenly increase or modify your physical activity, such as when you start training for a big race.
Other types of fractures occur after dropping something heavy on the foot or after twisting the foot.
After you break a bone in your foot, you may notice your foot swelling, bruising, or turning reddish or purplish in color. You may also experience mild-to-severe pain in the area. Sometimes, with a broken toe, you can still walk around, but doing so may be very painful.
If the early signs and symptoms of a break do not go away on their own after a few days, it’s important to see your doctor. Delaying treatment could result in longer-lasting pain and discomfort as well as an arthritic condition.
For stress fractures, the primary mode of treatment is rest from the activity that caused the break until your doctor gives you the OK to increase activity. Other forms of treatment are directed at immobilization of the broken bone or realignment. Your doctor may have to tape your broken toe to a neighboring toe or you may have to wear a cast or brace. Conservative treatments are generally effective at resolving foot fractures. Surgery is rarely necessary.
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