Signs of a Foot Injury: Is My Foot Broken?

Signs of a Foot Injury: Is My Foot Broken?

Sep 07 , 2021


Tags - Foot Injury Symptoms

After an accident or a fall, you may have broken your foot.

Don’t worry, it’s a very common injury, but it will require medical attention.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether your foot is sprained or broken because the symptoms for both tend to overlap.

Generally speaking, a broken foot will be a lot more painful, and symptoms like bruising or swelling will be a lot more severe.

If you’ve recently injured your foot and you can tolerate the pain, chances are this will go away on its own if you rest it properly.

But to be sure, here’s what you should look out for if you have a foot injury and when you should see a doctor… 


Pain and point tenderness is the most immediate sign that something is wrong, but sometimes this can worsen over time. If you do feel some pain in your foot, think about these questions:

  • Is there pain when you move that specific area?
  • Is the pain affected by how much weight you put on it?
  • Does your pain cause you to walk funny?

The bones in your feet are connected together by ligaments, and if any of these overstretch and cause the fibers to tear, is what causes a sprain.

However, if you’ve broken your foot you may experience some of these common symptoms:

  • Bruising: usually occurs from a direct impact injury to the foot, like being stepped on
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty adding pressure
  • Deformity, like a broken bone sticking out of the foot or the foot facing the wrong way

Symptoms of course vary from person to person, but pain, bruising and swelling are usually the most common.

When to See a Doctor

If you think you’ve broken your foot, don’t just wait for your symptoms to worsen and see a doctor as soon as possible.

Otherwise you risk more serious complications if it isn’t treated on time, like an infection or permanent changes to your foot shape.

Also see your doctor if:

  • Pain and swelling gets worse 
  • You feel numbness or have circulation problems in the foot
  • Your foot feels cold to touch or turns blue
  • You can see bone sticking out of the skin
  • Your foot is deformed in an unnatural position
  • You can’t walk, stand or put on weight onto your foot
  • There’s red streaks around the injury, signalling an infection

You should still see a doctor even if your symptoms are not severe as you still may need some treatment.

Also, your doctor is the best person to determine whether you’ve broken your foot or if it is just a sprain or other minor injury.


Typically, your doctor will carry out a physical exam and may ask you to walk on the foot (if you can),  or move the foot themselves to see the full motion range.

In more severe cases, you may need further tests like an x-ray, bone scan, CT scan or MRI scan.

Generally speaking, x-rays are commonly used to confirm diagnosis of a broken foot, whereas the other scans could be used for stress fractures that are too small to see with an x-ray.


The treatment you receive will be dependent on your injury.

Sometimes you may just be advised to rest and take over-the-counter medications for pain relief.

Common treatments for a broken foot are:

  • Wearing a case, brace, boot or special shoe
  • Using crutches or a wheelchair
  • Manipulating bones to put them back into place
  • Surgery to insert pins, screws or plates


Healing times vary between but most injuries will take around 6-12 weeks to heal.

However, always check with your doctor or physiotherapist to see when you can return back to normal activities.

Usually people are able to make a full recovery after they’ve broken their foot by having plenty of rest, but complications can occur. For instance, it’s very common for swelling during the healing process and which can make it difficult to find comfortable shoes; always find shoes that fit properly during your recovery and you can always buy new ones once you’ve healed!

Want to know more? Please get in touch now.


In the meantime, check out our extended range of comfortable shoes.


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