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Broken Foot

Broken Foot Symptoms

Broken bones in the foot cause pain and swelling.

    • Usually (but not always) the pain is so bad, that you are not able to walk. Broken bones in the toes cause less pain, and you may be able to walk with a broken toe.

    • Bruising of the foot with a broken bone is also common.

    • Sprains can also cause bad pain, swelling, and bruising, so it is usually not possible to tell if a foot is broken or sprained just by looking at it.

  • Here's what to do when examining an injured foot for a possible broken bone.

    • Take the shoes and socks off both feet and compare them side by side to figure out how much swelling is present in the injured foot.

    • Look for any large cuts or wounds. Large cuts or wounds that expose a broken bone are more serious.

When to Seek Medical Care

It is important to see a doctor any time you think you may have broken a bone in your foot.

For less severe injuries, your doctor may want to see you in the office or may choose to have you go to the emergency department. If you think you have broken your foot, and you can’t reach your doctor right away, it is reasonable to go to the emergency department to be examined.

Call 911, if needed, for transport to the emergency department. Do not attempt to drive with a broken foot.

Go immediately to the nearest emergency department if these conditions develop with a suspected broken foot:

  • The foot is blue, cold, or numb.
  • The foot is misshapen, deformed, or pointing in the wrong direction.
  • There is a large cut or wound near a possible broken bone.
  • You have severe pain.
  • You feel you need immediate treatment for any other reason.
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