Fractures of the bones of the toe and forefoot can result from either trauma or overuse. Overuse or improper training can cause stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bone. Trauma, however, typically causes a fracture that extends through more of the bone, either a stable fracture with no misalignment of the bone or a displaced fracture.
The symptoms of a broken bone include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. If these symptoms persist, see a physician, as delays in treatment can lead to long term complications. The doctor will wish to examine your feet for shape and tenderness. Xrays will show many fractures, although bone scans are frequently required to visualize stress fractures. In most fractures, surgical intervention is not required.
Suspected fractures should be treated immediately with ice and analgesic medication such as acetaminophen. Stress fractures are treated primarily with rest, while other fractures require immobilization. This may be achieved with taping, splinting, or a cast.