Nearly one-fourth of all the bones in your body are in your feet. A broken (fractured) bone in your forefoot or in one of your toes is often painful, but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment. Fractures in the mid foot or heel can be extremely disabling and may require surgery. These fractures can require long recuperative time.
Stress fractures commonly occur in the bones extending from the toes to the middle of the foot. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can happen with sudden increases in exercise (such as running or walking for longer distances or times), improper training techniques, or a change in surfaces. They can also happen for seemingly no reason at all.
Most other types of fractures extend through the bone. They may be stable, in which there is no shift in bone alignment, or displaced, in which the bone ends no longer line up properly. Bone fractures usually result from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot, or from a twisting injury. Because of the complex structures in the foot and the number of muscles and other forces acting on the foot as we walk, these fractures may take longer to heal or require surgery.
Common symptoms for any type of foot fracture includes pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising. Be sure to seek medical attention for any suspected foot fracture.