A broken foot is an injury to the bone. You may experience a broken foot during a car crash or from a simple misstep or fall.
The seriousness of a broken foot varies. Fractures can range from tiny cracks in your bones to breaks that pierce your skin.
Treatment for a broken foot depends on the exact site and severity of the fracture. A severely broken foot may require surgery to implant plates, rods or screws into the broken bone to maintain proper position during healing.
If you have a broken foot, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Immediate, throbbing pain
- Pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest
- Difficulty in walking or bearing weight
The most common causes of a broken foot include:
- Car accidents. The crushing injuries common in car accidents may cause breaks that require surgical repair.
- Falls. Tripping and falling can break bones in your feet, as can landing on your feet after jumping down from just a slight height.
- Impact from a heavy weight. Dropping something heavy on your foot is a common cause of fractures.
- Missteps. Sometimes just putting your foot down wrong can result in a broken bone. A toe can get broken from stubbing your toes on furniture.
- Overuse. Stress fractures are common in the weight-bearing bones of your feet. These tiny cracks are usually caused over time by repetitive force or overuse, such as running long distances. But they can also occur with normal use of a bone that’s been weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis.