Could my foot be broken?
June 24, 2012 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Someone stomped on my foot six weeks ago. It's still exquisitely painful with pressure, but no pain for walking. Do I need an x-ray before starting to run again? Assume 10 - 15 miles per week in minimalist shoes.

The stomp was on the top of my left foot, towards the outside edge, about an inch forward of the ankle bone. The pain was intense but did not stop me walking in heels and hasn't impeded me since. The whole top of my foot turned blue, including my three middle toes, but the bruising went down leaving only some red marks at the site of impact.
I stopped running to let it heal but it is still painful to the touch and with pressure. Walking doesn't hurt much and I have a full range of motion without excessive pain except when I rotate the foot inwards.
I need to start training again for a race at the end of August. Should I get the foot checked out before starting to run or am I being a hypochondriac? I have a history of ignoring things that turn out to be reasonably serious (a "sprained" wrist that turned out to be a scaphoid fracture being the most recent example). I have a chronic pain condition so my subjective experience of pain is not particularly reliable.
Thanks in advance for your wisdom and guidance.
posted by yogalemon to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
In my experience, a foot injury can take a surprisingly long time to heal. It would be worth getting it checked out.
posted by Lexica at 8:27 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

If an injury hurts 6 weeks after the fact, and you have health insurance, you should go see a doctor.
posted by schmod at 8:37 PM on June 24, 2012 [7 favorites]

I can't imagine any doctor who would roll his eyes at getting a foot injury checked out before running on it. And a couple of films now are a lot cheaper, in time and money, than foot surgery later.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:40 PM on June 24, 2012

Get it checked out!!! I thought I only rolled my ankle a little bit so I started marathon training and kept playing other sports until I pretty much couldn't walk anymore. Landed myself in a big clunky walking cast for a couple months!
posted by astapasta24 at 8:44 PM on June 24, 2012

Get it checked out- even though walking doesn't hurt *much*, a broken metatarsal is possible. I speak from experience, foot surgery and three titanium screws!!!
posted by drhydro at 8:45 PM on June 24, 2012

Something similar happened to me: the heavy porcelain soap dish broke off the shower wall and fell on my foot. I got a 2 inch gash and the top of my foot turned blue. After limping around for two weeks, I finally got some x-rays and both the doctor and the radiologist were boggled that there was no fracture. So yeah, I'd see a doctor, just in case you didn't get lucky like I did.The foot went on to hurt for about 6 months afterwards, regardless, and even 9 months later I would still get a twinge. Like you, I have a chronic pain condition so I was kind of 'eh, whatever, maybe it'll go away' about the whole thing initially.
posted by skye.dancer at 8:51 PM on June 24, 2012

There are so many tiny, vulnerable bones in the foot. Utterly harmless to get it checked out, particularly before something as hardcore as running. Potential disaster, otherwise.
posted by batmonkey at 8:56 PM on June 24, 2012

See a podiatrist, imho, over a doctor. They are like doctors for your feet and super qualified and experienced.

And definitely see one; you have no idea what kind/how much damage has been done. Foot injuries can take an age to heal, and you don't wanna inadvertently exacerbate the problem.
posted by smoke at 9:01 PM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Hi. I'm a physical therapist. If you came into my clinic and asked me if it was okay to run on that foot, I'd tell you to get checked out by an MD, and possibly get an X-ray, first.
posted by jennyjenny at 9:11 PM on June 24, 2012

I had something similar happen to me, but it involved a refrigerator.. um, right, anyway. I had x-rays done, and the doctor said everything looked fine, and I most likely had a "bone bruise." My foot remained tender for about three months, I think. I continued running in moderation, stopping if the pain became too noticeable. Of course, I'd still see a doctor if I were you, just because I'm paranoid.
posted by plaintiff6r at 3:18 AM on June 25, 2012

I have terrible peripheral vision and I've broken the toes at the outer edges of both of my feet.

Normally, I'd say, if it hurts stay off of it until it doesn't hurt any more. For broken toes, there's not a lot a doctor can do.

In your case, however, you might need some casting, or some other medical intervention. Go, see a doctor, especially before you start training for a race on it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:09 AM on June 25, 2012

I agree with smoke, get thee to a podiatrist (over a GP/PCP or even orthopedist) as they specialize in feet and ankles. They see more of these cases. You need it checked out. I hope you feel better soon.
posted by FergieBelle at 7:13 AM on June 25, 2012

So I had something very similar happen to me in college during finals. Someone smashed the top of my foot. It hurt a lot, but did not impede walking too badly and the foot got terribly bruised.

Since it didn't hurt to walk on it, I thought things were probably fine, just bruised and sprained so I didn't got in to the doctor for a while.

After finals I got an x-ray and discovered that I had snapped the very outside bone along the edge of my foot. My doctor said that the intensive bruising was likely due to blood leaking from the broken bone.
posted by forkisbetter at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2012

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