Toe and Forefoot Fractures
Orthopedic Specialist in Torrance
Nearly a quarter of all the bones in the human body are located in the
feet, and they are essential to both support and movement. When fractures
occur in the metatarsals (forefoot) or in one of the toes (phalanges),
the results can be painful, but they are rarely debilitating.
Toe and forefoot fractures can occur in a number of ways, including direct
impacts to the foot such as when you accidently kick something or drop
a heavy object onto the foot or toes. Fractures can also occur from overuse
and repetitive stress associated with high-impact athletic activity and
sports that require a great deal of running, jumping, and other similar
Because the bones in the forefoot function together to support movement,
a fracture of the metatarsal bones or phalanges can affect how your foot
functions and your ability to engage in activity. Common symptoms include
pain and swelling, bruising that may extend to other parts of the foot
or ankle, and pain when walking or bearing weight.
Treating Toe and Forefoot Fractures
Treating fractures will depend on their location and severity, but all
treatments are designed to help you return to physical activity and the
sports or hobbies you enjoy. By following a treatment plan personalized
to your unique needs, toe and forefoot fractures can often be treated
without the need for surgery and future complications can be avoided.
Rest and initially avoiding physical activity is important, but weight
bearing can begin as soon as pain permits. Wearing wider shoes or taping
broken toes to an adjacent toe can also provide relief. In some toe fractures,
the bones may need to be manipulated by a doctor to ensure they heal in
the correct position.
With fractures of the metatarsals, a cast or walking boot can immobilize
and protect the foot while the bones heal. Physical therapy, stretching,
and a gradual return to activity will also help following immobilization.
In cases where fractures are severe or unstable, multiple metatarsals
have been fractured, or a deformity occurs, surgery may be required. Surgical
treatment will involve internal fixation of the bones in the feet using
plates, pins or screws. Fractures generally take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.
Request an Appointment with a Torrance Foot & Ankle Specialist
Torrance Memorial Physician Network offers comprehensive care and a team
of orthopedic specialists who have the experience needed to address a
range of issues affecting the foot and ankle, including nonsurgical and
surgical approaches. We proudly serve the South Bay and surrounding areas
from three convenient locations. Call to request an appointment.