Fracture of the Foot

Fractures of the foot are a very frequent injury. They are caused by falls, twisting sprains and or direct impact trauma. Some fractures are low energy injuries and some are high energy injuries, which can have serious long term consequences. These injuries can cause significant pain and morbidity due to pain with weight bearing.

X-rays are taken to identify the fracture. Most fractures are fairly obvious and do not need advance imaging. Certain fracture types, such as the lisfranc fracture and calcaneal fractures require CT scans for surgical planning.

Treatment depends on the fractured bone, the type and pattern of fracture. Most metatarsal and toe fractures do not require surgery unless there is severe displacement of the fracture or there is severe comminution of the fracture. Protected weight bearing in a CAM walker can be the treatment of choice for uncomplicated fractures.

Fractures of the 5th metatarsal bone is another common fracture. Jone’s fracture is a type of 5th metatarsal fracture that usually requires surgical fixation. Other fractures of this bone can be treated with protected weight bearing in a CAM walker. Crutches, walker or knee scooters are usually required to help with partial weight bearing or non weight bearing of the patient.

Certain high energy fractures often require immediate attention. Lisfranc fracture dislocations can cause compartment syndrome of the foot which impedes blood flow and can lead to loss of limb. Such injuries need emergent fasciotomies and stabilization of the fracture/ dislocations.