Foot Fracture

(Broken Foot; Fracture, Foot)

Definition

A foot fracture is a break in any of the bones in the foot.The foot is made up of 26 small bones. The tarsus is the seven bones that make up the hindfoot and the midfoot. The forefoot consists of the five metatarsals and the 14 phalanges. There are two phalanges in the big toe and three in each of the remaining toes.A foot fracture can happen in any foot bone, but metatarsal fractures are the most common.
Phalanx Fracture of the Foot
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Causes

A foot fracture is caused by trauma to the bone. Trauma includes:
  • Falls
  • Blows or object falling on the foot
  • Collisions
  • Severe twists
When a bone is subjected to repeated stress over a long time, small cracks may form. These are called stress fractures . Certain bones (metatarsals and the talus) in the foot are at higher risk for this type of fracture.

Risk Factors

Foot fracture is more common in older adults. Factors that may increase your chance of a foot fracture include:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles or post- menopause
  • Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Sudden change in activity or exercise program, such as becoming a military recruit
  • High-impact or repetitive motion sports, such as gymnastics, basketball, tennis, or running

Symptoms

A foot fracture may cause:
  • Pain, often severe
  • Bruising and swelling in the injured area
  • Numbness in toes or foot
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Inability to walk comfortably
  • A lump or visible deformity over the fracture site

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