Broken Foot (cont.)
What are the causes of a broken foot?
Bones break when something happens to crush, bend, twist, or stretch the bone.
- Toes are often broken when someone accidentally kicks something hard.
- Heels are often broken when a person falls or jumps from a height and lands on
- Other bones in the foot sometimes break when they are twisted or
Most bones break suddenly during an accident, trauma, or
immediate injury. Occasionally, small cracks can form in bones over a long
period of time from repeated stress on the bones. These are called
stress fractures. They occur most commonly
in athletes such as dancers, runners, and gymnasts or in soldiers hiking in full
Broken bones are more common in children than in adults.
- In adults, bones are stronger than ligaments (which
connect bones to other bones) and tendons (which connect bones to muscles).
But in children, ligaments and tendons are relatively stronger than bone or
cartilage. As a result, injuries that may only cause a sprained foot in an adult may cause a broken bone in a child. However, a child's forefoot is generally flexible and very resilient to injuries of any kind.
- When metatarsal or phalangeal fractures do occur, they may be difficult to recognize because many parts of a growing child's bone do not show up well on
X-rays. For this
reason, it is sometimes helpful to get X-rays of the child's other, uninjured foot to compare to the hurt foot.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2015
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