The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Types of Common Foot Injuries

Posted by on Friday, April 19th, 2013


One of the most common inquiries we get at the Healing Feet Blog is people asking whether they may have broken or sprained a foot. Often, they are not sure if they should see a doctor or just “take it easy.” Visiting a medical professional is always a wise decision, even if it is a minor injury causing you pain. We can show you how to stretch, prescribe a medication to speed up your treatment, and identify the underlying factors that contributed to your condition. Rarely is surgery or invasive treatment needed, so you don’t need to feel anxious about speaking with Dr. Geldwert or another professional.

Types of Common Foot Injuries

Sometimes foot injuries occur gradually over time (such as a ruptured tendon or plantar fasciitis) and produce tremendous pain if left untreated. Other times, you may be dancing, running, or performing another physical activity when you have a sudden injury to the foot. These are often scary because you’re not sure if your foot is broken, sprained, or injured in some other way that would require a serious medical intervention. Here are some of the injuries we see at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine:

  • Ankle Sprain – Sprains are injuries to the ligament tissue that connects the bones. These usually occur if the ankle or foot turns beyond the normal range of motion. Sometimes you can just come down wrong and tear the tissue, which causes swelling, pain, or bruising. Treatment usually involves rest, bandaging, ice pack, and elevation. A cast, surgery and/or physical therapy may be needed for severe sprains.
  • Foot Fracture – Abundant swelling, bruising within 24 hours, extreme pain, and the inability to stand are symptoms of a fracture in one of the 26 foot bones. Often, these bones will heal on their own without surgery or a cast. Padded soles often help ease the pain while the injury repairs itself. However, ankle joint fractures usually require a cast and surgery to correct misalignment, according to Ohio State’s Wexler Medical Center.
  • Broken Foot – A full-on broken foot will yield the same symptoms of a sprain or lesser fracture. Sometimes the foot will look visibly deformed… but, other times, it’s just a mass of pain, swelling and bruising. The only way to really tell the root cause of your pain is to take an x-ray. You should most definitely see a doctor if your foot is blue, the pain is severe, the foot is misshapen, or you notice a bone protruding. A cast or a walking boot will be needed to heal your injury.

Other Types of Foot Injuries

More often than not, people come to our office presuming that they’ve broken a foot because the pain is so intense. Yet, we find that it’s another type of condition. For instance…

  • Bruising and tingling could be a foot contusion.
  • Redness, warmth and tenderness could be a foot infection.
  • Heel pain that feels worst in the morning and arch pain is commonly caused by plantar fasciitis, a repetitive use injury.
  • Pain and inflammation on the ball of the foot may be metatarsalgia, caused by strenuous activity and poor footwear.
  • Pain between the third and fourth toes and numbness on the ball of the foot might be Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of the tissue surrounding the nerves there.
  • Injured and inflamed tendons around the big toe could be sesamoiditis, which can be treated with ice, compression and rest.
  • Pain that runs up and down the foot may be tendinitis, which is treated with rest, pain relievers and steroid injections.

Have A Specific Question About Your Foot?

Please contact NYC Podiatrist Dr. Geldwert directly for specific medical advice at 212-996-1900 or by email. Thanks for reading!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.