Broken Bones



A foot fracture is caused by trauma from:

  • Falls
  • Blows or object falling on the foot
  • Collisions
  • Severe twists
  • Stress on a weakened bone

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of a foot fracture are:

  • Health problems that result in falls, such as weak muscles
  • A sudden increase in activity
  • High impact or repetitive sports, such as gymnastics, basketball, tennis, or running



Symptoms may be:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Numbness in the toes or foot
  • Problems moving or walking
  • Changes in the way the foot looks


The doctor will ask about symptoms, past health, and injury. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the foot.

Pictures of the foot may be taken. This can be done with x-rays.



It can take 6 to 8 weeks to heal. The goal of treatment is to help the bones heal properly to prevent long term problems.

Putting Bones Back in Place

Some fractures may cause pieces of bone to come apart. The pieces of bone will need to be put back into place so it will heal properly. The doctor may do this through either of the following:

  • Carefully moving the bones and using tension to align them. Anesthesia will be given help to manage pain.
  • Surgery to reconnect bone sections with pins and screws. These devices will also hold the bone in place as it heals.


Support for all fractures can include:

  • Medicine to ease pain and swelling
  • A walking boot, stiff soled shoe, or cast to support the bones as they heal
  • A walker or crutches to allow movement with less stress on injured bones
  • Exercises to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion


Most fractures are due to accidents. Healthy bones may prevent injury. This may be done through exercise.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.