Foot Injuries

Most athletes can’t stand to be off their feet. So when you’re sidelined with something like a broken foot or plantar fasciitis, our job at Henry Ford is to provide the well-rounded care you need to get moving again as quickly and as safely as possible. That’s why our team of board-certified sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons are trained in the most innovative foot injury treatments and therapies, helping Michigan athletes like you return to play with strength and confidence — all on your own two feet.

Common foot injuries

  • Foot fracture

    The foot contains 26 bones, all of which can be fractured and corrected with surgery or other treatments. A foot fracture typically occurs after a fall or jump or after enduring a particularly forceful impact.

    Symptoms

    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Tenderness
    • Difficulty walking

    Average recovery time

    Several weeks, depending on whether or not surgery is required.

  • Stress fractures

    Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones. High-impact aerobic exercise, such as running or dancing and overuse can lead to stress fractures in the foot.

    Symptoms

    • Sudden and severe pain when the injury occurs
    • Swelling
    • Bruising
    • Tenderness

    Average recovery time

    Varies depending on severity.

  • Plantar fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, which causes pain when walking. The condition is common in a variety of sports that involve running including football, baseball, basketball and track and field.

    Symptoms

    • Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
    • Pain when getting out of bed in the morning or after a long period off your feet

    Average recovery time

    A few weeks to a few months.

When to see a doctor

Minor foot pain can often be managed at home using the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). If the pain persists for more than a few days or if you suspect you have a broken bone, contact your doctor.

Other reasons to see a doctor for a foot injury include:

  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Inability to put weight on the foot

Request an appointment with an orthopedic specialist

How we treat foot injuries

Treatment for a foot injury at Henry Ford typically begins with a physical exam by one of our primary care sports medicine physicians. After evaluating the severity of your injury, reviewing your symptoms and assessing your medical history, we’ll develop a custom treatment plan designed to restore full mobility in the foot.

If necessary, we’ll refer you to one of our dedicated sports medicine physicians, orthopedists or physical therapists who specializes in foot injuries.

Treatment options

  • Non-Surgical Treatment

    R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) — When a foot injury first occurs, patients should rest the affected area to prevent further injury from occurring; ice it to reduce pain and compress it to reduce swelling.

    Physical Therapy —  Many foot injuries can be treated with physical therapy, either on its own or in conjunction with surgery. For recovering patients, Henry Ford’s rehabilitation team takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining exercise and strength training with manual therapy at more than 20 outpatient facilities across southeast and south central Michigan.

    Anti-inflammatory medication — Over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve can often help reduce foot pain from minor sprains and aid in initial recovery.

  • Surgical Treatment

    Toe and Foot Fracture Surgery — Not all toe or foot fractures require surgery, but if significant trauma has occurred and a fracture is significantly displaced, it is likely to benefit from surgery.

    Metatarsal Foot Surgery — The metatarsals are the long bones located in the midfoot and are susceptible to breaking due to repetitive stress or significant trauma. In sports, the fifth metatarsal (the long bone on the outside of the foot) is damaged often and occasionally requires surgery.

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