Forefoot fractures involve fractures of metatarsals or in one of toes (phalanges) and are often painful but rarely disabling. Most of the time, these injuries heal without operative treatment.


Pathophysiology: These are of two types. Stress fractures are like tiny cracks in the bone surface. They can occur with sudden increases in training, improper training techniques or changes in training surfaces. Most other types of fractures extend through the bone. They may be stable (no shift in bone alignment) or displaced (bone ends no longer line up). These fractures usually result from trauma.


Clinical Features: Pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising are the most common signs of a fracture in the foot. If the toe is broken, one may be able to walk, but this usually aggravates the pain. Patient may also change the way of walking (gait) in old untreated cases


Diagnosis: X-rays are necessary to confirm the fracture.

Treatment: It is advised to keep weight off the leg and apply ice to reduce swelling. An analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen helps relieve the pain. The patient should immediately consult an orthopaedic surgeon. The orthopaedic management may be plaster slab or surgery for severe displaced fracture.