In this Article


  • To prevent fractures from trips and falls, fix uneven floor surfaces and remove things from the floor or ground in your house and yard that you could trip over. 
  • To prevent stress fractures, make sure you have the right shoes for your activities. 
  • Give your feet a chance to rest when you are doing sports or other activities that could cause an overuse injury. Switch your fitness routine to include other kinds of exercise that don’t put the same type of pressure on your foot. • Avoid standing or walking for too long in high heels.
  • Keep your bones healthy to prevent osteoporosis.


  • Most broken toes will heal if you tape the broken toe to the one next to it. This keeps the broken toe from moving too much and gives it a chance to heal. 
  • Ice and elevate your foot after the fracture happens and when you have pain. You can also take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen. 
  • Avoid putting weight on the foot for a period of time, which depends on how serious the fracture is. If it still hurts to put pressure on your foot, you are not ready to go back to your usual activities.
  • When you get back to your activities, make sure you are wearing the right shoes for the activity. Ease into your activities and don’t try to do too much too soon.

When to See a Doctor

  • If you have a lot of pain, or if home care doesn’t help your fracture, go to the doctor. The doctor may give you a brace or cast to help your foot heal. In some cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to fix the bones.
  • Go to the doctor if your toe looks crooked or deformed.

What are Foot and Ankle Fractures?

The foot has many bones and any of them can fracture (break or crack). With some fractures, the bones break but don’t move around, but other fractures involve a bone that moves or is shattered in many places.

  • Ankle fractures. It can be hard to tell the difference between a sprained ankle and a broken ankle. This is partly because ligaments are often damaged when a bone breaks, so you can have a sprain and a break at the same time. If you have an ankle injury that causes a lot of pain and you can’t walk on it, it may be broken.
  • Stress fractures in the foot. A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone because of repeated stress on the bone. Stress fractures cause pain when you put pressure on that fractured part of the foot. It feels better with rest. Stress fractures can be caused by overusing the foot in activities like running or from starting a new activity you’re not used to. This is especially true if your bones are weaker because of osteoporosis. Stress fractures can also happen in the bones at the ball of your foot from wearing high heels.
  • Broken toes. Your toe bones can break from bending the wrong way, especially the smallest toe (pinky toe). They can also break from a direct hit which could happen if you kicked something hard or something fell on your foot. A broken toe might look crooked or bent, but it might just look red and swollen.