Foot and Ankle Fractures Q & A

Foot and Ankle Fractures Q & A

What should I do if I think my foot or ankle is broken?

If you think you’ve broken a bone, go straight to the emergency room. Your condition might be severe if any of the following symptoms accompany your injury:

Numbness or blue coloring in the foot
Visible bone or disfigurement
Additional severe injuries

How can I tell if I broke my foot or ankle?

Podiatrists can tell you if you have a broken foot after performing an X-ray. Sometimes a strained foot looks like a broken foot from the outside. Additional signs that you could have a broken bone in your foot or ankle include the following:

Severe pain
Inability to put weight on the foot
Severe bruising and swelling
An audible snapping sound during the injury
Obvious disfigurement


What causes the foot or ankle to break?

The foot is made up of 26 bones and experiences the brunt of your body weight whenever you do any activity on your feet. The ankle and foot are the most common point of impact in your body.

Whenever you bend, twist, crush, or stretch the bones in your foot during activity, they can end up broken. If you kick an object too hard or fall on your foot, you could break it.

Most broken feet and ankles are the result of the following:

Sports injuries
Car accidents
Workplace accidents
Bone weaknesses
Occasionally, overuse from activities like dancing or running causes stress fractures in the foot.

How do you treat foot or ankle fractures?

You may only need crutches and special shoes for your broken bones. The crutches help you keep weight off the affected foot and heel, while the shoes provide support. Podiatrists may also use a splint or cast to help stabilize your foot or ankle.

Podiatrists may perform surgery to repair broken bones if you have complex, severe, and multiple fractures. Seeing the treatment through to the end is vital so you can return to your job or favorite sport. Pushing past your limits could delay healing or cause irreversible damage.

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