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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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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.  While some people believe that a "fracture" is a less serious injury than a "broken bone", in fact there is no difference between the two.

There are two types of foot fractures: stress fractures and general bone fractures. Stress fractures usually occur in the bones of the forefoot extending from the toes to the middle of the foot. Stress fractures are like 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.

Most other types of fractures extend through the bone . They may be stable or non-displaced, in which there is no shift in bone alignment, or displaced fractures, in which the bone ends no longer line up properly. Bone fractures usually are the result of trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on your foot, or from a twisting injury. If the fractured bone does not break through the skin, it is called a closed fracture. If the fracture does break through the skin, it is called an open fracture.

Because of the complex structures in the foot, there are some other, more specific types of fractures that can occur. For example, the fifth metatarsal on the outside border of the foot is susceptible to a variety of different fractures. The relationship between the ankle and the foot can be compromised by an ankle-twisting injury, which may tear the tendon that attaches to this bone and pull a small piece of the bone away. A more serious injury in the same area is known as a Jones fracture, which occurs near the base of the bone and disrupts its blood supply. This injury may take longer to heal or require surgery.

Common symptoms for any type of foot fracture includes pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising.  Common misconceptions include that "if you can walk on your foot, that means it's not broken" and "there's nothing you can do for a broken toe".  Neither of those statements are true.  A broken bone can only be accurately diagnosed via an x-ray.  You can walk on a broken bone, it is just VERY painful.  Broken toes need to be evaluated to see if the fracture is displaced, in which case it needs to be "set" before applying tape splinting.  The taping is also very helpful even if the fracture is not displaced.

The majority of fractures will feel better quickly with immediate treatment.  While most will feel very good within about a month, fracture healing typically takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to heal properly. Other factors, such as activity, nutritional factors and other health issues such as osteoporosis, arthritic disorders and smoking can slow down the healing process.

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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470