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4 Types of Foot Fractures

Your feet carry a lot of weight, and they need to be strong. Unfortunately, many things can go wrong with your feet, including fractures. If you would like to know more, check out these four types of foot fractures.

1. Ankle Joint Fracture

Your ankle consists of three bones: the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. Therefore, a fractured ankle can include any of these three bones. A broken ankle will usually be painful and swollen, and the symptoms can spread all the way up to the knee. The pain is usually worsened when you apply weight to the ankle, and if ligaments have been torn, you may not be able to move the ankle.

There are two main causes of a broken ankle. First, a sudden impact can cause a fracture. This is common in sports where your ankle may twist, such as basketball. However, you can also get a stress fracture. This type of fracture is often the result of performing a new activity, such as hiking.

Unfortunately, treating a broken ankle can take time, especially if multiple bones were broken. Your ankle requires a lot of movement, and it needs to be strong enough to support your weight. For this reason, you may need surgery to reconstruct the ankle and screws and plates to hold it in place while it heals.

2. Metatarsal Bone Fracture

The metatarsal bone resides in your foot, connected to the toe bones and the ankle bones. This type of break is usually small, but it can cause big symptoms, such as pain when you walk. Luckily, this type of break may only take six weeks to heal, but you will still need to stay off that foot until it heals.

Metatarsal bone fractures are usually the result of stress or landing on the foot the wrong way. During recovery, you want to focus on reducing the swelling. This means staying off the foot, elevating the foot, and putting ice on the foot. Luckily, treating this kind of fracture is usually simple and fast. In extreme cases, surgery may be required, but a cast or brace may be enough to stabilize the foot during healing.

3. Sesamoid Bone Fracture

The sesamoid bone assists the metatarsal bones by taking some of the weight. This bone is actually more of a boney nodule on the ball of the foot, and its sole purpose is to hold tendons in place. These tendons help you wiggle your big toe and helping the big toe push off the ground.

If your sesamoid bone broke from trauma, it is considered acute, and you will likely have sudden intense pain and swelling. However, a stress fracture on the sesamoid bone is considered a chronic fracture. These types of fractures also produce pain, but the pain may come and go, making it hard to guess what is wrong with your foot.

Treatment doesn't usually require surgery. In fact, most patients do well with padding or immobilization.

4. Toe Fracture

Toe fractures nearly always arise from some kind of force, such as stubbing your toe. If you break your big toe, it can cause more problems than breaking one of the smaller toes. This is because your big toe is weight-bearing. So, if it breaks, you may be unable to walk normally.

Luckily, treatment, regardless of the toe, typically involves a split. If the toe has been displaced, a doctor may need to put it back in the proper position before splinting it.  

A foot fracture can be painful and make walking impossible. However, there are also many treatments to help foot fractures and improve healing. If you would like to know more, or if you want to find out what is wrong with your foot, contact us at the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Everett. 

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