Maybe you have been in a car accident and are experiencing some pain in your foot. Maybe you tripped on an uneven sidewalk, stepped on a child’s toy, or dropped something heavy on your foot. Whatever happened, the reality is simple: your foot hurts—and you’d like it to stop.
But is it broken? And if it is, what can be done about it?
A List of Symptoms
Signs that you may have broken your foot may include:
- Immediate and throbbing pain in your foot
- Trouble walking without pain
- An inability to bear weight on the foot
- A noticeable increase in pain with activity and decrease with rest
- An obvious deformity indicating a bone (or bones) out of place
- Swelling, bruising, and/or tenderness in the foot
When to See a Doctor
We should note that the severity of a break can range from a tiny stress fracture to a compound fracture that breaks through the skin. It probably goes without saying that if you have a severe break, you need to see a doctor right away. In the worst cases, you may require foot and ankle surgery to implant rods, screws, and/or plates to hold the broken bone in the correct position as it heals.
But what if the break is nowhere near that obvious? When is it time to see a doctor? Symptoms that indicate your problem requires medical attention include:
- Ongoing pain and swelling that either does not ease or gets worse over time
- Ongoing difficulty walking
Your podiatrist will be able to make a determination about what sort of treatment will best serve you after you have broken your foot. We have touched on surgery, which is the most extreme option, but there are other options for less severe breaks. These include:
- Resting the foot
- Managing the pain with over-the-counter pain meds
- Keeping weight off the foot—perhaps by using crutches or a wheelchair
- Wearing a special shoe, boot, brace, or cast
- Manual manipulation of the affected bone or bones to put them back in the proper place(s)
Getting Proper Care Can Make or Break Your Recovery
If you suspect you have broken your foot, you should have it looked at right away. The doctors of InStride Carolina Podiatry Group can help make sure you heal properly so you can get back to the activities you love. Contact us for an appointment right away.