An injury where there is a break in any one of the 26 small bones located in the foot. The hindfoot and midfoot areas consist of seven bones called the tarsus. The forefoot consists of five metatarsals and 14 phalanges (toe bones). A foot fracture can happen in any of the foot bones, but metatarsal fractures are the most common.
Causes of a foot fracture can result from direct impact to the area when falling or twisting the foot, hitting the foot on a solid surface or incurring a direct blow to it. Indirect causes can come from foot bones being subject to stress and pressure over a long time, making the bones crack and more susceptible to fracture.
Another common cause of a foot fracture results from injury sustained in an automobile accident or motorcycle accident, where an individual is exposed to amounts of high exertion to the foot.
Swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the injured site, reduced range of foot motion and a deformity over the fractured area are common symptoms know to foot fractures.
Like other fractures, treatment can depend on the severity of the injury. In a less severe foot fracture, the bones can often heal naturally, only requiring the victim to use splints, crutches or stiff-soled foot boots to keep the fractured area immobile. If multiple bones are fractured, or it is a more severe fracture, surgery may be used to put the bones back into their proper position. In this case, doctors may use pins, screws or plates in order to position the bones.