Did You Break or Sprain Your Foot

Apr 14, 2014

There are multiple occasions where patients come into the office not knowing if they have either sprained or broke a bone in their foot. Don’t worry; there is a good reason for this. The two conditions show very similar symptoms and are often confused with each other. Confirming your condition takes a trained eye, but knowing the difference between the two injuries could help you understand and prevent further damage to your foot.

When trying to figure out if you have sprained or broken your foot, there are two big questions to ask yourself:

1. What were you doing when the pain started?

Unusual twist– A sprain will typically occur when the foot encounters an unusual twist or movement. Internally, the tissues connecting the bones stretch too far and tear slightly.

Impact-like force– A broken bone typically occurs when you put too much stress on your foot. For this reason, it is very common for broken bones to be associated with trauma.

Applying excessive force – Fractures are generally associated with sudden movements of the foot. This kind of bone break is seen a lot in basketball players because of jumping and repeated stress of the foot striking the ground

2. What does the affected area look like?

Moderately and locally swollen? – Sprains typically appear to have light to moderate swelling.  The swelling may also appear to be somewhat localized.

Is there a bump? A bump in the affected area usually signals a break in the bone. A break will also cause the affected area to appear moderately to severely swollen.

Regardless of how you answer these questions, it is important that you see a podiatrist to avoid further injury. Dr. Sanjay Patel will be able to x-ray your foot and get a clear understanding of what the true problem is. If you would like to request an appointment, call one of our offices located in Hamden and Milford Connecticut. You can call (203)876-7736 or you can request an appointment online at our website.