Toe and Forefoot Fractures

A break in one, or more, of the 29 bones found in the foot.

Toe and Forefoot Fractures

The foot is comprised of many bones; the forefoot alone has 29 bones – 5 metatarsal bones and 14 phalanges (toe bones). A break in any of these bones can be very painful and make walking a difficult task. Most acute fractures in the foot occur from direct force (like dropping a heavy object onto the foot) or trauma (like kicking a hard object). “Stress” fractures are small fractures that can also develop over time due to repetitive activity. Fractures in the foot usually cause bruising, to the top and bottom of the foot, swelling and pain, especially when walking or bearing weight. An x-ray is used to evaluate the injury and determine the location, type and severity of the fracture. Fractures of the toe (phalangeal bones) are the most likely bones of the foot to fracture. Toe fractures, while painful, often do not need any surgical treatment. Allowing the fracture to heal with rest and supportive shoes are usually appropriate first-line care for most toe fractures. Metatarsal fractures are breaks in the long bones found in the middle of the foot. Like toe fractures, surgery is not often required and can be treated with a period of rest, ice, elevation and supportive shoe wear or a brace. However, if there are several metatarsal fractures involved, concurrent ligamentous injury, and the foot is deformed or unstable, an open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) with plates and/or screws may be necessary to regain proper function and mobility of the foot (Please visit out Treatments section for more information of toe and forefoot fracture treatment). Your doctor will monitor the fracture closely with serial x-rays during your treatment course to ensure proper alignment of the bone is maintained throughout the healing process.


Every Patient Matters

Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.

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