Your foot is made up of around 26 bones, and many of those bones are prone to injury. You can break your toe if you kick something, your heel if you jump from a certain height and land on your feet, you can break other bones if you twist or compress your foot. Although children break their bones more often than adults, their feet are much more flexible than adults'. Plus, children can recover from a broken foot much faster.
Part 1 of 3: Recognizing Symptoms of a Broken Foot
Step 1. See if it is too painful to walk on your foot
The main symptom of a broken foot is the overwhelming pain the moment you try to put some pressure on or walk on your foot.
If you have a broken toe, you can usually walk without any major pain. However, a broken foot will cause you overwhelming pain. Shoes often mask the pain as they provide some support to the foot. So if you suspect a fracture, it is best to take off your shoes for a diagnosis
Step 2. Try taking off your shoes and socks
This will help you find out if your foot is broken. You can compare your two feet side by side.
If you can't take off your shoes and socks, not even with help, you should call the nearest emergency room. Your foot is likely broken and should be treated for immediate medical attention. Cut open your shoe and socks before swelling causes further damage to your foot
Step 3. Compare feet and look for signs of bruising, swelling, and injury
See if your foot or toes are swollen. You can also compare your injured foot with your healthy foot and see whether it appears very red and inflamed or has bruises that are deep purple to green. You may also find open wounds on your foot.
Step 4. Check if the foot is broken or just sprained
You can try to determine if your foot is broken or sprained. Sprains occur when a ligament, i.e. the tissue that connects two bones, overstretched or even tore. Fractures, on the other hand, are a fracture or a complete break of a bone.
Look for bones that peek through your skin, or areas of your foot that appear deformed or at an unnatural angle. If there are bones protruding through the skin or if your foot appears deformed, it is likely broken
Step 5. Go to the nearest emergency room
If your foot appears broken now, go to the nearest emergency room. If you are alone and nobody can help you at the moment, call 112. If you have a broken foot, do not try to drive to the emergency room yourself. Any broken bone can put you in shock, making it too dangerous to drive.
If someone can drive you to the emergency room, try stabilizing your foot so that it is stable and not moving too much while you are driving. Take a pillow and place it under your foot. Tape the pillow or tie it to your foot to keep it upright. Try to keep your foot elevated while driving. It's best to sit in the back seat of the car and put your foot up
Part 2 of 3: Have your feet treated by a doctor
Step 1. Have a doctor examine your foot
The doctor will press some areas on your foot to check if it is broken. You may feel some pain in the process, which in turn indicates that the foot is broken.
If it is broken, you may feel some pain when the doctor presses certain areas. Or, you may not be able to take more than four steps, or even fewer, without pain without help
Step 2. Give the doctor permission to x-ray your foot
If the doctor suspects you have broken bones in your foot, they will need an X-ray.
But even on x-rays, it can be very difficult to tell if the foot is broken because swelling obscures the fine bones. With the help of x-rays, a doctor may even be able to determine exactly which bones in your foot are broken and how they can be treated
Step 3. Ask the doctor about treatment options
Treatment options depend on the broken bones in your foot.
If you have a broken heel or ankle that connects your foot to your leg, you will likely need surgery. If you have a broken toe, surgery is unlikely to be necessary
Part 3 of 3: Treating the foot at home
Step 1. Put as little weight on the foot as possible
Once your foot has been treated by a doctor, you should put as little weight on it as possible. Use crutches to get around. All of your weight should be on your arms, hands, shoulders, and crutches, not your broken foot.
If you have one or more broken toes, they may have been connected to their neighboring toes to prevent movement. You shouldn't put any strain on your broken toes and should allow six to eight weeks to heal
Step 2. Elevate your foot and cool it with ice to reduce swelling
Place your foot on a pillow in bed or on a high chair when you are sitting so that it is always higher than the rest of your body. This will help reduce the swelling.
Ice cooling your foot can reduce swelling, especially if it is bandaged and not in a cast. Only put the ice on your foot for ten minutes at a time and do this once an hour for the first ten to twelve hours after the injury
Step 3. Take doctor-prescribed pain relievers
Your doctor should give you oral pain relievers or write a prescription for them. Take them as your doctor has prescribed or as directed on the package insert.
Step 4. Arrange a follow-up examination with the doctor
Most foot fractures take six to eight weeks to heal. You should schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor as soon as you can put weight on your foot and walk again. Your doctor may recommend a stiff, flat shoe that can help your foot heal properly.