Broken Foot Symptoms, Treatment, Causes

A broken foot is a general term for fractures in the bones of the foot. A fractured foot will primarily result from sports injuries such as soccer and basketball or when someone trips over something or is running and falls without breaking stride.

If you have a broken foot, it is vital to know the symptoms and what to do. It is also crucial to determine whether a doctor needs to be consulted. A broken foot can become infected if it doesn’t get treated correctly.

What are the Causes of a Broken Foot?

Falls: The most common cause of a broken foot is a fall. A person could trip and lose their footing. If they are running, the momentum can carry them forward and put stress on the foot.

The impact from Heavy Weight: Kicking or hitting your foot against heavy objects could also cause a broken foot. The injury mainly occurs from the force of the heavy object,

Sports: Falling on the foot while running injuries are prevalent in soccer and basketball. If a player falls on the foot, the toe, heel, and ankle could be fractured.

An Auto Crash: A car crash could also cause a broken foot. A person might hit the dashboard or get thrown forward in the car and crush their foot.

Stress Fracture: The bones that bear weight on your feet are prone to stress fractures. Running long distances, for example, can cause these tiny cracks to appear. However, they can also occur when a condition like osteoporosis has weakened a bone.

What are Some Broken Foot Symptoms?

Some common symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Instant Severe pain
  • Deformity
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Weight-bearing or walking difficulties

Who is at Risk of Broken Foot?

People who work in high-risk environments: Some work environments pose higher risks than others. For instance, construction site workers might be susceptible to a broken foot if they use unsafe equipment or work on unstable surfaces.

People with poorly lit and clustered homes: If your home is clustered or has poor lighting, it is more prone to accidents and injuries.

People who increase their levels of activity abruptly: A sudden increase in activity could cause an injury. For example, you might be throwing yourself into your exercise routine. If your body isn’t accustomed to this much exertion, you could suffer a broken foot.

Athletes participating in high-impact sports: Sports that require a lot of running, jumping, and landings, such as soccer, basketball, or football, are more likely to lead to a broken foot.

People/athletes who use defective equipment: Equipment not adequately maintained or safe for use creates a higher risk of a broken foot.

People with underlying health conditions: Some health conditions can make you more susceptible to a broken foot. The most common is osteoporosis or weakened bones, but diabetes can also increase the risk of broken bones.

How Do You Prevent a Broken Foot?

  • Wearing the right shoes
  • Warming up before exercise
  • Evaluating the location of your exercise routine
  • Wearing the right gears for high-risk sports
  • Building bones density
  • Install adequate lighting and declutter your home.

What are the Treatments for a Broken Foot?

A fracture that’s mild and non-displaced (which means the bone hasn’t dislocated out of place) may heal without surgery in some cases. For treating this kind of fracture, the RICE method is suggested.

  • Rest: Stay off of your foot for at least two weeks. It’s essential to allow the tissues to heal.
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack for about 20 minutes every forty minutes or take an ice bath to reduce swelling and pain.


  • Use a wrap or tape for ankle support to reduce swelling.
  • Compress the fracture between the toes, use elastic wraps, and place a crepe bandage over the top.
    Keep the foot elevated to reduce swelling.

Elevation: Use a foot cast to keep the fracture from turning inwards, putting additional pressure on the weak area.

Are there Complications for a Broken Foot?

Generally, there are little to no complications for a broken foot. However, they may include:

  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis):
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage

When to See a Doctor for a Broken Foot?

If the swelling and pain do not get better with self-care, or if they worsen over time, see your doctor. If your injury makes it hard to walk, you should consult a Post Oak ER doctor.