Causes of Fractures
A fracture of the toes and forefoot can be very common. They can result from a direct blow, such as dropping something on your foot or toes, or accidentally kicking something hard. Stress fractures can also be caused by abnormal foot structure, osteoporosis, bone deformities, or wearing improper footwear during exercise. These are common for individuals whose daily activities cause high levels of impact on their feet and ankles. Anyone is susceptible to this problem, though. Individuals who are normally sedentary and suddenly begin an intense, high impact workout may sustain stress fractures. This is because their muscles are not yet strong enough to handle and cushion the intensity of their activity. Osteoporosis may also cause someone to get stress fractures, because the disease weakens an afflicted person’s bones and makes it easier for them to break down.
Pain from stress fractures typically occurs in the general area of the fracture. Pain can also manifest as “pinpoint pain” or pain that is felt when the site of the injury is touched, and can be accompanied by swelling. It may occur during or after activity, and it may disappear while resting and return when standing or moving. Engaging in any kind of activity, high impact or otherwise, will aggravate the pain. If the intensity of the activity increases before the stress fracture has properly healed, it can cause a full fracture.
Although fracturing a bone in your toe or forefoot can be quite painful, it rarely requires surgery. In most cases, it will heal with rest and a change in activities.
Fracture care at Tri-County Foot & Ankle can include the surgical and non-surgical treatment of the toes, foot, and ankle by one of our physicians.
Dependent on the type and severity, the physician may opt to treat the patient non-operatively by methods which can include:
If you are undergoing a new exercise regimen in running or some other kind of high impact activity, set incremental goals on a weekly basis so you can build up muscle strength. Make sure to wear supportive shoes to better protect you feet.
If you begin to experience any symptoms of stress fractures, you should stop exercising and rest. If the symptoms persist, consult with your podiatrist. Remembering these tips can help you prevent stress fractures to your foot and ankle, and allow you to continue living normally.