How to Tell If You Have a Broken or Sprained Foot

sprained and broken foot

It can happen while doing something as simple as walking, taking a misstep or exercising. Before you know it, you have a broken or sprained foot. And while they both hurt and can prevent you from engaging in activities, all the same, these are two different injuries that require different treatments, so being able to tell one from the other is important to help you heal.

Our medical experts can easily determine your condition and discuss options with you. If you think you’ve injured your foot in any way, head to the affordable walk-in clinics that make up the UrgentMED network of Southern California. Keep reading to learn how to tell if you have a broken or sprained foot.

Similar Symptoms

Differentiating between the symptoms of a broken foot and sprained foot can be tricky because they are very similar and can be equally painful from the start. If you’ve broken your foot, you will experience immediate pain and swelling, along with bruising and occasional numbness. The pain will usually be so intense that walking will not be physically possible. In some cases, you may experience shock and will not be able to notice the pain immediately.

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Similarly, foot sprains can also cause severe pain, swelling and bruising. In some cases, you are also unable to walk from a sprained foot depending on how bad the injury is.

Do you happen to remember the sound you heard when the accident occurred? If you sprained your foot, you may have heard a popping sound. With a broken foot, however, you would have heard a cracking sound that may have been louder and more obvious.

Treatments Are Different

If the doctor determines your foot is sprained, then the treatment will be to rest, ice the injured area, compress the swelling and elevate the injured area. He or she may also suggest you take anti-inflammatory medications. A sprained foot will heal on its own with time, so long as the foot is rested and not used for intense activities during the healing process.

The treatment for a broken foot is based on its severity and the location of the fracture. There are generally understood to be different fracture types, each varying in severity and treatment required. For example, a compound fracture, in which the skin breaks and the broken bone is exposed, will require more intensive remedial measures than a stable or a hairline fracture, in which the break is minimal.

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Along with rest and medications, you may need a cast, brace, splint, or boot for your broken foot. In a worst-case scenario, you will need surgery in order to repair any damages to your foot and the bone structure may need to be permanently braced or altered.

Seeking Help for a Broken or Sprained Foot

If you suspect you have broken or sprained your foot, visit an UrgentMED Network clinic immediately. The medical professionals at UrgentMED Network – the largest urgent care network in Southern California – are ready to help you seven days a week. They will be able to quickly examine your broken or sprained foot on a walk-in basis at any of our 19 convenient Southern California locations.

If needed, the UrgentMED Network provides on-site physical therapy at our West Los Angeles Urgent Care. We accept over 15 private insurance plans as well as Medicaid. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you find yourself injured with a sprain or a broken bone. Find the UrgentMED Network clinic nearest to you to address all of your health concerns today.