You have been diagnosed with a bone injury to your foot or toes. A fracture and a break are the same things. Fractures of the foot and toes are usually caused by trauma e.g. dropping an object on the foot or hitting your foot or toe off a hard surface.
What are the symptoms?
These vary from person to person. People may experience:
- Loss of movement and strength around the ankle, foot and toes
- Reduced ability to bear weight through the foot.
How is it diagnosed?
After an assessment, the treating Doctor/Nurse Practitioner will request an x-ray to confirm the injury.
The discomfort, tenderness and swelling you are experiencing in the foot or toe should gradually settle over 3 to 4 weeks. Elevate your foot when sitting to relieve swelling. If you are able to lie down elevate the foot above the level of your heart for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day to further reduce the swelling.
- Applying a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes over the painful area will help the pain and swelling to settle. This can be done 2 to 3 times per day.
Technique for the application of ice treatment at home:
1. Use either a bag of frozen peas or a plastic bag with ice cubes.
2. Cover the area to be treated with a damp tea towel or damp cloth.
3. Place the ice pack over the area and hold in position with a towel or bandage.
4. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes on bony areas. 20 to 25 minutes over more fleshy or muscular areas.
5. Check the skin every 5 minutes and if it becomes white, blue or blotchy or painful, numb or tingles, remove the ice pack.
- If necessary, you may be provided with a protective support for the foot/toes in the form of bandaging or a removable boot or shoe. If required, you will also be provided with elbow crutches.
Pain relief and comfort
- You can take pain relief such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. Your local pharmacist can also advise.
- The boot or bandage can be removed while resting in bed, but you should consider reapplying when weight-bearing to make walking more comfortable.
- When bathing, the boot or bandage should be removed, but always reapply for weight bearing. It would be advisable, where possible, to sit when bathing or showering before removing the boot or bandage.
Getting back to normal
You can self-certify for one week. The A&E Practitioner will advise you on time scales for return to work.
Worries or concerns
Should you have any worries or concerns following discharge from the hospital, please contact the virtual fracture clinic on 01592 643355 extension 20140 and leave a message. A member of the VFC team will contact you. For urgent problems call 01592 643355 Extension 22685 or concerns out with working hours, please get in touch with NHS 24 on 111.
If you require this information in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, audio, large print, BSL, Easy Read please contact the Equality and Human Rights Team at: email: fife.EqualityandHumanRights@nhs.scot or phone 01592 729130. For people with a hearing or verbal impairment you can also contact the team via the NHS Fife SMS text service number on 07805800005.
You can also find health related information on many topics in an Easy Read format on nhsinform.scot.