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Broken Foot

Medical Treatment

Treatment for a broken bone in the foot depends on which bone is broken and how it is broken. Some broken bones in the foot can be treated with crutches and flat-bottom shoes, others require splints or casts, and still others require surgery to repair the bones.

  • Crutches are used to help you walk when you have a hurt foot.

    • When walking using crutches it is important that they fit right and that you use them correctly. Your doctor should adjust your crutches to fit you and show you how to use them.

    • When using crutches, it is important to put your weight on your arms and hands. Do not put your weight on your underarms (armpits). This could hurt the nerves that are in your underarms.

    • To avoid falling, use your crutches only on firm ground.

  • Your doctor will tell you whether or not you should bear any weight on your injured foot.

    • To use crutches in a "non-weight bearing" way, you should keep the knee of your injured leg bent whenever you walk, to keep the injured foot from ever touching the ground. Do not let it touch even to help with balance.

    • To use crutches for "partial weight bearing" or "weight bearing as tolerated," you can let your injured foot touch the ground only when the crutches are also touching the ground, so that some of your weight is on your foot and some is on the crutches. Always let your injured leg swing with the crutches. If it hurts when you walk, put more weight on the crutches and less on your injured foot.

Next Steps

Follow-up

Follow-up with your doctor or orthopedist often is needed to make sure that foot fractures are healing well. Follow-up is particularly important if pain continues or if you have difficulty walking.

Prevention

It is always better to prevent broken bones than to treat them.

  • Construction workers and others at risk for foot injuries should always wear steel-toed protective boots.
  • Sports always should be performed with well-fitting supportive athletic shoes.
  • When riding in a car, do not allow passengers to dangle feet out the window or place feet up on the dashboard.
  • Always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car.
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