Usually the first indication you have broken foot bones is when it hurts to walk. Its amazing that more people don’t break the bones in their feet more often considering the heavy load they carry during a lifetime. Its even more amazing when you learn a single human foot has 26 bones, and any of them can be broken.
The foot has 3 basic sections called the forefoot, the midfoot and the hindfoot. The foot is actually attached to the leg bone at the heel. The set of five bones in the middle of the foot are called Metatarsal bones. The forefoot is where you find your toe bones. Each toe is connected to a Metatarsal bone and the Metatarsals are attached to the hindfoot. The foot is an elaborate and wonderful system of bones that couldnt have been designed any better by a professional engineer.
Broken foot bones typically occur when a bone is crushed, impacted or twisted the wrong way. Children break foot bones more often then adults. This is probably due to the fact children are involved in lots of physical activities and their bones are still growing. Metatarsal bones are usually broken in adults as a result of participation in strenuous sports activities or from dropping something heavy on the foot. Toe bones are usually broken due to an impact of some kind such as walking into a bed post or kicking something hard. Heel bones aren’t often broken in adults, but when they do break, its usually due to jumping off of something onto the hard ground.
Most people discover they have broken foot bones, because they can’t put weight on the foot, or it looks bruised and swollen. First aid for broken foot bones includes elevating the foot and applying ice the first 24 hours to reduce the amount of bruising and swelling. When toe bones are broken, all that can really be done is to splint the toe to keep it immobile.
Breaks in larger foot bones may need a removable cast which covers most of the foot, the ankle and the lower portion of the leg. The cast keeps the foot bones immobile until they heal. It can be removed periodically to rotate the foot to keep tendons and ligaments flexible. In many cases, crutches will be needed to keep body weight off the foot until the bones are partially healed. In the most serious breaks, the foot bones may have to be pinned to reconnect the bones.
The most important thing to do is follow your doctors orders to the letter. When the broken foot bones begin to feel better, its tempting to discard the crutches too soon. As you age, it takes bones longer to heal but with proper care your foot bones will recover. It certainly pays to take care of your feet, because they keep us mobile all our lives.