Foot Fracture and Broken Foot: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Recovery

Foot Fracture and Broken Foot
Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Recovery

Feet are very vulnerable to twisting and slipping because of the high frequency of their use. A broken foot, also known as foot fracture, is a very common injury. In fact, one fracture out of every ten broken bones is in the foot. A fracture in the foot can be the result of either chronic overuse or a sudden trauma. Regardless of the cause of the fracture in the foot, it can be a serious injury and can take a long time to recover fully before the person can take on the normal routine activities again. To make the best treatment and rehabilitation choices, it is important to have knowledge about the different fractures in the foot, their causes, symptoms and the best treatment and rehabilitation options available.

 

Causes of a Broken Foot

The integrity of the bones is compromised in case of a break, crack or a fracture in a bone. 10% of all the fractures in the body are foot fractures.

Here are some common causes of a broken foot:

  • Fractures of the heel bone are usually caused when a person falls or jumps from a height and lands directly on their feet. The intensity of impact may also lead to fractures in the hip, knee, lumbar spine and ankle.
  • Fractures of the phalanges and metatarsals is caused when there is a direct blow to the foot often caused when a heavy object drops on the foot or when a kick goes awry.
  • Foot can also be fractured in twisting injuries.
  • Falls, missed steps, crush injuries, overuse, stress and impact with a heavy object are the most common causes of a broken foot.

 

Types of Foot Fracture

Foot fractures are of two types: stress fractures and full fractures. Trauma or accident is the main cause of a full fracture, while stress fractures result from the overuse of the foot. The pain and discomfort felt in each of these fractures may seem similar, but there are some major differences between both you need to know about.

 

  • Full Foot Fracture: Full foot fractures are caused due to a one-time trauma such as dropping something heavy on the foot or a car crash. It has two further types, open full fracture and closed full fracture. In the open fracture, the surrounding muscles, skin and tissues of the injury are also damaged while the opposite is the case in a closed or simple full foot fracture. This makes an open fracture more susceptible to infections and complications than a closed fracture.
  • Stress Fracture: Stress fracture, as the name suggests, is caused due to repeated stress on and the overuse of the bones in the foot. It is most common among athletes and is commonly mistaken as a sprain or strain. There is also not a single cause in case of a stress fracture which makes it difficult to diagnose. The most common cause of this injury is repeated stress on the same part of the foot over time and overuse. Duration of impact, frequency of impact and the intensity of impact on the foot are the main factors that play a part in the severity of the injury.

It is important to visit your doctor at your earliest if you feel any pain in your foot to get an accurate diagnosis and begin the treatment plan as soon as possible without aggravating the condition any further.

 

Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Foot

Here are some common symptoms of a broken foot:

  • Constant pain in the foot that increases when you put weight on it
  • Steadily increasing pain in the foot
  • Swelling outside the ankle or on the top of the foot
  • Limping of the foot as it is not able to bear the body weight without causing pain
  • Foot is tender to touch
  • Signs of bruising in certain area
  • In case of significant displacement of the bones, a deformity may be clearly visible in the foot.

It is important to seek immediate medical attention in case you are facing any of the above-mentioned symptoms. A medical professional will look at the injury and perform proper diagnostic tests before moving on to the treatment and rehabilitation phase. The treatment plan and the days to recovery will depend on the nature and severity of the fracture. The treatment may be surgical or non-surgical. The foot should, however, be non-weight bearing in either of the treatment options.

 

Treatment Options

As mentioned, your physician will guide you about the treatment options based on the severity and nature of the fracture. There are two basic treatment options available, surgical and non-surgical.

 

Non-Surgical Treatment

A foot fracture might not always require a surgical treatment. Your physician will assess the condition and then advise a treatment plan. In case a surgery is not required on the broken foot, here are the important things you need to keep in mind when dealing with a broken foot.

  • To help the foot heal effectively, it is important to give it proper rest
  • It is important not to put any weight on the affected foot. Your physician will ask you to make the broken foot non-weight bearing as weight on the broken bone will affect its recovery process and will slow down the time it takes to heal. Also, it may lead to complications leading to the need of surgical procedure
  • Icing can help reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. 20 minutes of icing at a time is more than enough
  • Keeping the ankle above your heart also reduces swelling and pain. Therefore, the doctor will recommend an elevation of the injured foot

You will be advised about the protection you need to wear. It can range from braces and casts to protective footwear. It typically takes 6-12 weeks to recover from a broken foot wearing a cast.

 

Surgical Treatment

In case the injury is severe and the non-surgical procedure will not work, your doctor will recommend a surgery of the broken foot. It is mostly done in the cases when the alignment of the foot is affected because of the fracture, there are multiple fractures in the foot, or it is beyond repair naturally.

The surgery for a broken foot involves plates, screws and pins. These provide the needed support to the bones of the foot and help them heal with a proper alignment. This reduces the risk of getting the foot injured again. The recovery time for the surgical treatment is more than that for non-surgical treatment. It is important to keep the instructions of the doctor in mind and practice them to make sure the treatment works best.

 

Rehabilitation

The recovery time depends on the nature, location and severity of the fracture. It usually takes 6-12 weeks for your broken foot to fully recover from the injury. During this time, you will have to take extra care of the foot and keep it non-weight bearing. You can make use of a good mobility device to help you do some of the routine work without putting any weight on the healing foot. Bearing weight on the broken foot increases the risk of injuring it again, and also increase the recovery time. You can choose a mobility device based on your lifestyle and how active you are.

Here are some options you can choose from:

 

  • Traditional Crutches: Traditional crutches are commonly used and inexpensive, however, they can cause pain in your wrists, arms, chest and underarms. Also, crutches are not very convenient and you will not be able to use your hands and arms while walking which makes doing simple everyday tasks difficult to perform. It also increases the risk of bearing weight on the broken foot, which can lead to a stress injury again and can also increase the time for recovery.
  • Knee Walkers or Knee Scooters: If you are an active person and want to remain the same following the broken foot injury, the best option for you are knee scooter and knee walkers. These are becoming increasingly popular for all the right reasons. You can kneel on a padded platform and can move easily with the wheels on the bottom just as you do with a scooter. They are the most efficient solution for distances and for doing everyday tasks. When you are resting the foot on a knee scooter, there is minimal chance of bearing any weight on it and hence the recovery process goes smooth and as planned.

 

Dealing with a fractured foot can be difficult and challenging, but with the right treatment plan, care and the use of correct mobility device post-treatment, you can make a quick recovery. It is important to follow the treatment plan recommended by the doctor to the t. Do not bear any weight on the broken foot as it increases the risk of aggravating the situation, and might injure the foot again or increase the time for recovery. KneeRover’s knee scooters and knee walkers are the best option to speed up the recovery process by keeping weight off the fractured foot.

 

 This is for informational purposes only, please remember to consult your doctor.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KneeRover® Comparison

KneeRover® Comparison

The KneeRover® brand offers 10 unique knee walker solutions designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users. Please look at the comparison table below to find the recommended KneeRover® products for you. Product recommendations are based on your height, knee to floor distance, weight, and intended usage.

Please note that we offer 4 ALL TERRAIN options within the KneeRover® family. These revolutionary products enable you to navigate all types of outdoor terrain (grass, dirt, gravel, gaps in sidewalks, etc.) as well as easily move in your home or place of work. Our 4 ALL TERRAIN options have varying sizes and designs to help more people navigate life with no boundaries. To learn more about our All Terrain products, click here.

If you are recovering from a knee injury, we also offer a scooter that enables you to be seated while giving you freedom to move. More information on our Evolution Seated Scooter can be found here.

 

Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
GENERAL
Weight (lbs) 18 32 30 27 33 30
Weight Capacity (lbs) 160 250 300 300 350 300
Recommended User Height Range 3’9″ to 5’4″ 4’3″ to 5’9″ 4.9′ to 6’6″ 5′ to 6’6″ 5’6″ to 6’6″ 5″ to 6’6″
Terrain Use Indoor & Some Outdoor ALL TERRAIN Indoor & Some Outdoor Indoor & Some Outdoor ALL TERRAIN Indoor & Some Outdoor
Steerable YES YES YES YES YES YES
Folds for Easy Transport YES YES YES YES YES YES
Color Light Blue & Pink Red Blue Green & Hot Pink Blue Blue
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
DIMENSIONS
Overall Length (inches) 26 29 29 31 36 32
Width (inches) 16 18.25 17.5 16 20 16
Front Axle Width (inches) 16 18.25 17.5 16 20 16
Folded Height (inches) 14.5 16 17 18 18 23
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
KNEE PLATFORM (Distance from ground to top of knee pad)
Lowest Position (inches) 13.5 16 16 17.5 18 24(Seat)
Highest Position (inches) 17.5 19.5 22.5 22 21.5 31 (Seat)
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
KNEE PAD
Width (inches) 5.5 7 7 7 7 N/A
Length (inches) 10 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 N/A
Thickness (inches) 3 3 3 3 3 N/A
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
HANDLE BARS
Min Height (inches) 26.5 32 34 29.5 34 33.5
Max Height (inches) 36 38 41 38 41 40.5
Grips Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber Ergo Dynamic Easy Clean Rubber
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
WHEELS
Diameter (inches) 6 9 7.5 7.5 12 7.5
Number 4 3 plus Stabilizer Wheel 4 4 3 plus Stabilizer Wheel 4
Type Foam Filled Air Filled Bicycle Tires Solid Non Marking Rubber Solid Non Marking Rubber Air Filled Bicycle Tires Solid Non Marking Rubber
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
BRAKE
Type Rear Drum Brake Rear Bicycle Brake Rear Drum Brake Rear Drum Brake Rear Bicycle Brake Rear Drum Brake
Parking Brake YES YES YES YES YES YES
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
BASKET (INCLUDED)
Dimensions (inches) 9.25 x 6.5 x 7 9.25 x 6.5 x 7 12 x 8 x 8.5 11 x 9 x 8 12 x 8 x 8.5 11 x 9 x 8
Detachable YES YES YES YES YES YES
Features & Specs KneeWalker Jr. All Terrain KneeRover® Jr. KneeCycle Steerable Knee Scooter All Terrain KneeRover® Evolution Seated Scooter
ASSEMBLY
Tool Free Setup YES YES YES YES YES YES