A fracture is a break in the bone and can be divided into two categories: traumatic fractures and stress fractures.

Traumatic fractures are caused by a direct blow or impact to the foot. An example could be seriously stubbing your toe. In this type of fracture, the broken bone may become displaced or change locations. The type of treatment you may receive depends on the location and extent of the fracture and whether it is displaced. Surgery may be required in some cases. Symptoms of traumatic fractures include:

  • You may hear a breaking sound at the time of the fracture.
  • Pain isolated at the place of impact at the time the fracture occurs and for the next few hours, but the pain will often go away after several hours.
  • Abnormal appearance of the toe.
  • Bruising and swelling the next day.

Stress fractures are tiny, hairline breaks in the bone usually caused by repetitive stresses. They should not be ignored because they will not go away over time unless properly treated. Some symptoms of stress fractures include: 

  • Pain during or after normal activities.
  • Pain that goes away when resting but returns when standing or during activity.
  • Pain at the site of the fracture when touched.
  • Swelling with no bruising.

Treatment options for toe and metatarsal fractures:

Rest – Sometimes rest is the only thing necessary to treat a traumatic fracture in the toe.

Splinting – The toe may be fitted with a splint to keep it in a fixed position.

Rigid-soled shoe – Wearing these shoes help to protect the toe and keep it properly positioned.

Buddy-taping – Taping the fractured toe to another toe is helpful in some cases.

Surgery – If the break is bad enough or the joint is affected, surgery may be necessary.

Jones Fractures occur in the small area of the fifth metatarsal toe which is the bone on the very outside of the foot. A jones fracture can be either a stress fracture or a traumatic fracture. This can be caused by overuse, repetitive stress, or trauma. Symptoms include:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling on the outside of the foot
  • Difficulty walking
  • Bruising may occur

Treatment Options for jones fractures:

Immobilization – The foot may be kept immobile by using a cast, boot, or stiff-soled shoe.

Bone Stimulation – An external device used to speed the healing of some bone fractures.

Surgery – Surgery may be necessary since jones fractures usually do not heal through the other two treatment methods