A forefoot fracture can happen as a result of direct trauma to the front of your foot and toes. This can happen if you drop something heavy on your foot, run directly into an object with your foot, or kick something hard. It can also occur from repetitive trauma to the foot. Forefoot fractures can range in severity and are most often treated conservatively based on symptoms.
Common Symptoms of a Forefoot Fracture
Pain and swelling in the front of the foot are the two most common symptoms of a forefoot fracture. Some other symptoms that may happen with a fracture are:
- Discoloration to nearby parts of the foot
- Pain when walking or bearing weight on the foot
Diagnosing and Treating a Forefoot Fracture
If you think that you have fractured your forefoot, consult with a podiatrist immediately. An untreated fracture can affect your ability to walk and can lead to other complications such as arthritis and chronic foot pain.
A podiatrist can diagnose a forefoot fracture by doing the following:
- Physical exam. During the physical exam, your podiatrist will check for any open wounds or cuts. In addition, they will check for issues such as swelling, tenderness, swelling, bruising, or discoloration.
- Imaging tests. Imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI may be done to diagnose the fracture.
Once the fracture is diagnosed, treatment options will be discussed. Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, treatment may consist of the following:
- Ice. Applying ice to the foot can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Elevation. Keep the foot elevated to decrease swelling.
- Wrap. A compression dressing may be applied to the foot to help minimize swelling and pain.
- Buddy tape. If a toe is broken, it can be buddy taped to an adjacent toe. This can help with pain and keep the toe in alignment.
- Remaining non-weight bearing. You will want to limit bearing weight on your foot to prevent further complications and help with healing.
- Activity modification. Your podiatrist may recommend stopping your activities until your injured foot has healed. Resuming activities too soon can re-injure your foot before it has the proper time to heal.
- Changing shoes. You may need to wear a shoe that is wider than your normal shoe or wear a shoe that is open. A shoe that fits too tight can cause pain to the fractured foot.
- Surgery. For more severe fractures or fractures that involve multiple toes, surgery may be an option.
Contact a Podiatrist
If you have injured your forefoot or are experiencing pain in your feet, contact a podiatrist at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry for a free consultation. To set up an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists, fill out our contact form online or call our office at (301) 515-FEET.