How do I Treat a Broken Foot?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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The first step in treating a broken foot is removing the shoes and socks and elevating it. The broken foot should be resting at an angle that is above the heart to help reduce swelling. You should also apply an ice pack to the injury, but take care not to put it directly on the skin. It is usually best to put a towel around the foot before using the ice. After the foot has been elevated and has an ice pack on it, you can splint it by wrapping it up in a large pillow or blanket.

In addition to the basic steps for treating a broken foot, it is also a good idea to take note of any bleeding coming from the foot or any other part of the body that may have sustained an injury. As long as the bleeding is not severe, some slight pressure and a bandage may help to stop it. Be sure to clean the wound first before applying the bandage so you can see how severe the cut is. Elevating the foot to reduce the swelling will additionally help to stop any bleeding coming from the foot.


After the broken foot has been splinted and any bleeding has been stopped or reduced, you need to either call a medical professional or take the injured person to an emergency room. With very severe injuries, you may need to call an ambulance before doing anything else to ensure that help will arrive as quickly as possible. In most cases, it is fine to give the injured person some type of non-prescription pain medication either en route to the emergency room or as you wait for an ambulance. If the injured person is bleeding profusely, avoid giving aspirin because this causes the blood to thin, which could result in heavier bleeding.

A doctor will typically do some X-rays to determine how bad the break is. In most cases, the foot will be placed in a cast and the patient will need to use crutches to keep weight off the broken foot until it heals. The length of time it takes a broken foot to heal usually depends on how badly it is broken. It is also likely that a doctor will prescribe some prescription pain medication. A follow-up visit with the doctor may be necessary when it is time for the cast to come off so he or she can be sure it has healed correctly.


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Post 2

I broke my foot years ago and was actually afraid to begin putting weight on it again once the splint was off. Physical therapy helped me feel more confident as I got back to normal.

Post 1

It is also important to report any strange symptoms that you experience while your foot is on the mend. Extreme pain, swelling, and bruising that continue to get worse throughout the healing period may be signs of a serious side effect of the injury. Anyone who experiences these issues following a break should call his or her doctor immediately.

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